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Jul 7, 2016 5:28 PM

Milford father who died saving son during boating accident hailed a 'hero'


MILFORD — Alan Lighthall, 51, of Milford, is being hailed a hero after he gave his life to save his 13-year-old son, Scott, when their boat hit a rock on a lake in northern New York Wednesday.

“If there hadn’t been people immediately here we probably would’ve had three fatalities instead of one,” said Shawn MacAulay, the chief of the Brier Hill Fire Department in New York.

According to police, Lighthall was operating the boat. He jumped into the water when his son fell in. Another boater pulled Scott aboard unconscious, he was given CPR before he was rushed to the hospital. Lighthall’s brother was also pulled from the water and is expected to fully recover. Lighthall never resurfaced. Crews worked quickly to recover his body.

“Quick recovery, to put the family at some ease that we found the individual,” Chief MacAulay said.

Neighbors in the Lighthall’s quiet Milford neighborhood say the family keeps to itself. Lighthall’s son-in-law posted a tribute on Facebook, vowing to take care of the family. It says in part:

“You were a great man and father in law and one of the nicest persons I have ever met.. You helped us in so many ways and i can never repay you for it,” the post reads.

And a woman who appears to be Lighthall’s sister wrote:

“I love and miss you little brother! You died a hero! Until we meet again."

Scott remains in critical condition in a New York hospital. An autopsy will be performed on his father to determine exact cause of death. According to police, none of the three were wearing life vests.

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