The family of a man who died after saving his dog from a frozen lake in Bexleyheath have paid tribute to a "devoted husband, dad, granddad, son and brother".

Stephen Cavanagh, 60, was walking his dogs with his wife Lorraine in Danson Park on Wednesday (February 28) when they ran onto the ice covering the lake.

The lake, which was frozen due to the treacherous weather, was somewhere between -15 and -20 degrees according to Mr Cavanagh's daughter, Nicola.

She said: "Steve knew the lake well as he’d previously participated in a rowing course at Danson Park and walked there daily with the dogs.

"The dogs would always enter the lake chasing the ducks and enjoying playing around in the water. Like a normal day and unbeknown to the dogs they saw the ducks and ran for the lake.

"The dogs were shocked when the ice broke and they fell in, the bigger of the two was able to get out but the smaller of them unfortunately could not pull herself up on to the surrounding ice.

"A passer-by tried to jump the gates and help her, Steve went with his instinct and entered the smaller boating section of the lake where it was only knee deep and tried to make his way around to the decking to reach his dog whilst his wife tried to encourage the dog to keep fighting as she kept going under the water.

"The next thing Lorraine heard was someone shouting 'there is a man in the water'. Two passers-by managed to jump the gated area and pulled Steve from the water and within a matter of seconds they started CPR, with the guidance of Lorraine who is first aid trained, as she could not reach him herself."

Within minutes large numbers of emergency services, including an air ambulance, were on the scene.

The Metropolitan Police were called at just before 4pm, and arrived within minutes - and shortly after they arrived a defibrillator was brought to the scene.

Paramedics took Mr Cavanagh to a south London hospital as a priority, according to the London Ambulance Service.

Nicola said: "Unfortunately despite their best efforts they were unable to save him.

"Steve Cavanagh was a devoted husband, dad, granddad, son and brother who sadly passed away on Wednesday February 28.

"We would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for their best efforts in trying to save Steve, despite the fact that they didn’t know him.

"At this moment in time we as a family would like some privacy to grieve for our loss. Again we would like thank all who have sent thoughts and kind words and to those who have laid flowers in Danson Park."

The cause of death is currently unknown, but police confirmed to News Shopper it is not thought to be suspicious.

The London Fire Brigade has said that the dog was rescued by boat.

Tributes have been paid to Mr Cavanagh, including one from East Wickham Police which said: "Some very sad news. Our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones."

One dog walker in the park told News Shopper: "It's awful, tragic really. I suppose it was just the man's instinct."

A Crowdfunding page has been set up following Mr Cavanagh's death.

The organiser said: "We have set this page up to support [Lorraine] and her family during this very difficult time."