Loch plunge son was a hero, insists grieving dad

editorial image

“I NEED help” – those were the final words of a hero who died trying to save his beloved pet from a freezing loch.

Tragic John McAllister tried to save the family dog using an inflatable mattress, but as his anxious dad, Roddy, watched he disappeared into the darkness.

The body of the 37-year-old was discovered later that night along with Tain, a 13-year-old mongrel.

The drama unfolded on Sunday, December 18, when Tain fell through ice on the Gadloch, in Lenzie.

John’s dad Roddy was walking his dogs when the tragedy took place.

John was looking out the window from the family’s home in Auchinloch, which backs on to the loch, when he saw Tain in the water.

Desperate to save her, John used an inflatable bed and broke the ice with a hammer to get to the 13-year-old mongrel.

John did reach Tain, but tragically both of them drowned.

Devastated dad Roddy (56) said: “I was screaming at him not to go in. I tried to convince him there was no point and we should try the fire brigade.

“Tain started yelping and John went to get her on an inflatable bed. It was dark and I couldn’t see him, but I was talking to him.

“John got to Tain, but I think when he lifted her, her claws have burst the inflatable. His last words were ‘I need help’. I’ll never forget that.”

Roddy added: “John died a hero.

“He thought about what he was doing, but was really unfortunate.”

A major rescue operation was launched to try and save John, involving the fire service, police divers, the police helicopter and thermal imaging equipment. Sadly, John’s body was pulled from the water at 7.30pm. Tain was also found dead.

John’s dad Roddy, mum Sandra, sister Christine, brother-in-law Jason and niece and nephew, Aimee (5) and Mark (4) have been left devastated.

John had taken over running his dad’s landscaping business. The former Auchinloch Primary and Lenzie Academy pupil enjoyed playing five-a-side football with his local pub, The Golden Pheasant, and was a Rangers fan.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out this week. John’s funeral is expected to take place on Saturday, January 7, at Daldowie Crematorium followed by a gathering at The Golden Pheasant.