War hero fails to save father after freezing waves hit boat

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  1. http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/latestnews/War-hero-fails-to-save.4635007.jp

    A MAN has died after falling into the freezing waters of the Firth of Forth despite the heroic efforts of his war hero son to save him.

    Stephen Robinson, 49, and his son Gary – a Royal Marine on leave from Afghanistan – set off in heavy storms on Saturday afternoon to try to secure Mr Robinson's boat, the Scallywag Too.

    The pair used a dinghy to try to reach the vessel, but the small boat was overcome by waves and Mr Robinson fell unconscious.

    Gary dived into the water and towed him through the waves to the pier at North Queensferry.

    Members of the North Queensferry Boat and Sports club called paramedics and Mr Robinson was rushed to Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline but died shortly afterwards.

    Gary and a fellow Marine hit the news last year after strapping themselves to an Apache helicopter in Afghanistan to rescue a fallen comrade.

    A former chief Petty Officer, Mr Robinson was the father of two sons and had been in the Royal Navy for 24 years. He was considered an experienced mariner. He is thought to have worked most recently in security at the Scottish Parliament. He lived in Rosyth, and was originally from Newcastle.

    A fellow member of the boat and sports club and friend of Mr Robinson's said: "It's a horrendous thing to have happened to Stephen, he was a very popular member of the club and always had a laugh and a joke with you.

    "Stephen always helped anybody in any way he could and the sea was his life.

    "His boat had lost its mooring and was flapping about so he and his son Gary took a dingy out to try and secure it.

    "The horrendous weather was throwing up five-foot waves and the dingy just got swamped. Personally I think he has taken a heart attack, because when his son dragged him back in, he never regained consciousness.

    "His son was a total hero."

    Mr Robinson's family were too distraught to comment. Fife police said inquiries were ongoing.