A father who died on his 33rd birthday and saved his son’s life after their kayak capsized is hailed as a “hero” by his wife.
Peter Finch, 33, and son Jaxon, 4, were kayaking around 5:30 p.m. Friday in Gwandalan, near Lake Macquarie, when disaster struck.
The father of two held the toddler in the air as he kicked into the water until onlookers rushed to him and dragged the couple to safety.
Bystanders and paramedics performed CPR, but Mr. Finch could not be rescued. Jaxon was unharmed by his father’s selfless act.
Peter Finch died tragically on Friday saving his son’s life in a kayaking accident near Lake Macquarie. He is pictured with son Jaxon, four, and one-year-old daughter Shelby
His wife Natalie paid tribute to her husband of more than 17 years in an emotional post on Facebook, promising that Jaxon and their 16-month-old daughter Shelby would always be aware of their father’s heroism.
“Peter, my husband, my lover, my best friend, my partner in crime, my hero, I don’t know how to live without you!” she wrote.
‘You’ve been my rock for 17 and a half years. No one has my back like you! You are the most amazing, fun, loving, beautiful daddy. I promise the kids will always know how wonderful you are, our hero.
“The kids and I love you forever and ever, to the moon and back and back again, more than all the stars in the sky.”
Ms. Finch thanked the paramedics desperately trying to save her husband’s life and everyone in the community for their support.
“Thank you all for your messages and nice gestures, we live in a beautiful community,” she said.
His wife Natalie (pictured) paid tribute to her ‘partner in crime’ in a message on Facebook
“Peter’s family and I would like to send our sincere appreciation to ALL first responders who have tried to save our beautiful Peter and for saving Peter’s precious son Jaxon.”
“Thank you will never be enough.”
Larissa, Mr. Finch’s sister, said her brother was “gentle” and “kind” and was a devoted husband and father to his wife and children.
‘Peter was a beautiful young man who loved his wife and lived for his children. So kind and gentle,’ she said.
“He is now in the arms of our beloved relatives of the past. Peter will be missed so much.’
“Our family and friends are so heartbroken. The world is now a smaller place.’
NSW Ambulance said the Central Coast builder was doing everything possible to save his son in his final moments.
Mr Finch, who died on his 33rd birthday, is remembered by his sister as ‘gentle’ and ‘kind’
“It appears the man heroically held the boy above the water as they fell over, saving his life,” said NSW Ambulance Inspector Andrew Craig.
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of bystanders and paramedics, the man could not be resuscitated.
“It was a very emotional scene and bystanders had done an excellent job giving the patient first aid before the paramedics arrived.”
The incident is being investigated by the Tuggerah Lakes Police Department and a report is being prepared for the coroner.
AN GoFundMe page launched to help his family get through the “toughest time of their lives” has already raised more than $17,000 in 24 hours.
“Peter was a wonderful husband, a wonderful father and a wonderful friend,” reads the fundraiser page.
“He sacrificed his own life to save his little boy, heroism at its finest.
“We understand times are tough and if you can’t afford to donate that’s fine, a simple share can mean an extra $1.
“We thank everyone for their love and support during this difficult time.”