Family pays tribute to 'gentle giant' and popular Padiham man (21) after tragic reservoir death

Ben Heany
Ben Heany

Heartbroken family and friends of Ben Heany who died in a devastating incident at Ogden Reservoir, Barley, have described him as having a "heart of gold".

Emergency services were involved in a four-hour search at the Pendle beauty spot after receiving reports that a young man had entered the water and may have got into difficulties, just before 5pm on Sunday.

Ogden Reservoir, Barley. Photo credit: Peter Stawicki

Ogden Reservoir, Barley. Photo credit: Peter Stawicki

Helicopters from Lancashire Police and the North West Ambulance Service were deployed, alongside a Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service drone.

Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Service also assisted with the search, which ended in tragedy at around 9pm with the discovery of a body in the water.

Ben's untimely death has shocked the local community. Grief-stricken loved ones and friends have paid tribute to the former pupil of Shuttleworth College, Padiham.

A family spokesman said: "Ben had a heart of gold and was very generous. He spoke highly of everyone and would give his last pound to help someone more in need. Outside work his hobbies were playing football, darts, listening to music and socialising. He was a gentle giant, well-loved and a great guy to be around. He was a credit to Padiham and will be sadly missed."

Ben's friends Daryl Graham and Peter Denwood have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for his funeral and to give him the send off he deserves.

They said: "No parent should be faced with the worries of funeral costs of their children. Let's help them, take some pressure off the family. Let's reach the target of raising £3,000 and give Ben the send off he deserves. Ben was a kind man who would give his last pound if someone needed it more. He was a genuine all round lovely lad and I know will be missed by all who knew him."

Meanwhile, members of Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team have extended their sincere condolences to Ben's family. Writing on their Facebook page, they said: "Sadly, the team attended the incident at Ogden Reservoir on Sunday. We would like to send our condolences to this young man’s family and friends. You are all in our thoughts."

A post-mortem examination into Ben's death is due to held later this week.

Anyone wishing to donate towards funeral costs can click here.