A family has spoken of their heartbreak after the father of a 14-week-old baby died in a canoe accident.
New dad Mark Hill, 40, was paddling on Amberswood Lake in Hindley, Wigan on Saturday afternoon when he got into trouble.
A rescue attempt was launched but tragically his body was later pulled from the water, the M.E.N. reports.
Mark leaves behind fiancé Lisa Veasey – the mother of his 14-week-old son Corey.
He had "wanted a child for 20 years". Mark and Lisa struggled to conceive and had to have IVF.
Finally, after two failed rounds, Mark and Lisa welcomed little Corey.
Now his family has been left devastated.
Lisa told the Manchester Evening News : "I don't know what to say, I'm absolutely heartbroken.
"He was the most loving, kind-hearted, hard-working, gentle man. He was a doting dad.
"Corey meant the world to him, he's our miracle baby.
"Mark was the best dad he could have asked for.
"We've been together nine years, but we've known each other since we were teenagers because we used to be next door neighbours."
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Mark was born in Wigan and grew up in Beech Hill.
He lived in Wales – where he started canoeing – for a number of years, before moving back to Wigan and settling in Hindley.
Sister Hannah said: "He was a good man. He was funny, kind, and gentle.
"He worked with my partner as a groundworker, so I saw him pretty much every day.
"He'd wanted a child for 20 years – it finally happened naturally after two failed rounds of IVF."
Hannah added: "The canoe was a childhood thing. He'd had it for two-and-a-half years and never went on it.
"He was actually supposed to be giving me the canoe as I wanted to use it as a planter in my back garden.
"He was supposed to be gardening yesterday, but the weather put him off. It was a last minute decision.
"My heart is shattered into a million pieces.
"He has left behind so much family that love him dearly – a fiancé and 14-week-old miracle son, whom he adored so much."
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A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "Shortly after 3.50pm on Saturday 18 July 2020, police were called to reports of concern for a man in Amberswood Lake off Liverpool Road in Wigan.
"Emergency services attended and following a water search, sadly found the body of a man believed to be in his 40s.
"There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances and a file will be passed to the coroner."
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