Gateshead man dies after saving his dog from a river in Spain

Thousands of pounds has been raised to bring Paul's body home within 24 hours of the fundraising campaign going live Credit: NCJ Media

A family from Gateshead say they are desperate to bring the body of a 'selfless' relative home, after he died while saving his dog in Spain.

Paul Lebihan, from Leam Lane, drowned on 9 May as he rescued the dog from the Bolulla River, near Benidorm.

Paul's cousin Kallym Bell said he had a heart of gold and was 'biggest laugh and the very best to be around.'

He added: "He was very selfless - saving the dog shows that. He would do anything for anyone, it's the same with his time in the Navy, it shows how he was willing to put himself before others."

His family are now hoping to bring his body back home and have set up a fundraising page.

Paul was known by many in the Gateshead area, being a keen amateur boxer at Leam Lane Boxing, and forming close bonds with colleagues during his time with the Navy.

His cousin said: "He loved being around people, he was very sociable. He loved his boxing, he was a talented boxer, and he loved going out with his friends. He was a very popular kid, very loved."

Kallym said: "It still hasn't really sunk in, I can't even believe it. We just want him back: he was always on this estate, there's a massive family of us living here and we all grew up around here together and all the family who've died are buried around here.

"Our family has been in Leam Lane since the estate was built and we want to bring Paul back."

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