Dad drowns after 'heroically' saving toddler son in kayaking accident

A man who saved his son from drowning when a kayaking trip went horribly wrong has been hailed a hero by his heartbroken wife. 

Peter Finch and his four-year-old son Jaxon were kayaking on Lake Macquarie in New South Wales, Australia, on Friday when their boat capsized. 

The 33-year-old managed to tread water and keep his son above the waves until the pair were rescued but lost consciousness and was unable to be resuscitated. 

Jaxon survived uninjured. 

Following the accident, Peter’s wife Natalie Finch wrote an emotional tribute to her husband on Facebook promising that their two children ‘will always know just how wonderful you are.’ 

She wrote: ‘Peter, my husband, my lover, my best friend, my partner in crime, my hero. 

‘I don’t know how to do life without you. You have been my rock for the last 17-and-a-half years. No one has my back like you do. 

‘You are the most amazing, fun, loving, beautiful Daddy … our hero. The kids and I love you forever and always, to the moon and back and back again, more than all the stars in the sky.’ 

‘Peter’s family and I would like to send our heartfelt appreciation to all of the first responders who tried to save our beautiful Peter and for saving Peter’s precious son Jaxon, thank you will never be enough.’ 

Emergency services were called to parkland at Gwandalan on Lake Macquarie just after 5.30pm on Friday, October 1 following reports a kayaker and child had been pulled from the water. 

Paramedics treated Peter at the scene, but he could not be saved. 

Andrew Craig, a NSW ambulance inspector said Peter had ‘heroically held the young boy above the water … saving his life. 

‘It was a very emotional scene and bystanders had done an excellent job in rendering first aid to the patient before paramedics arrived.’ 

‘With the warmer weather fast approaching it’s a tragic reminder of how dangerous the water can be and how quickly things can change,’ he added. 


A Go Fund Me page set up to support Natalie and the couple’s two children has raised more than £11,000 ($20,600) in two days.

Janelle Hunter, who set up the fund wrote: ‘Peter was an amazing husband, an amazing dad and an amazing friend. He sacrificed his own life to save his little boy, heroism at its finest.

‘Peter has a wife, a little boy and a baby girl he has left behind. We are hoping to raise some money to help his family get through the toughest time of their lives, anything is muchly appreciated.

‘We understand that times are tough and if you can’t afford to donate that’s fine, a simple share could mean an extra $1.’

Located in the Hunter Region Region of New South Wales, Lake Macquarie is the largest saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere.

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