Heroic gay singer dies helping to rescue a drowning little girl
A gay singer has been remembered as a hero in Israel, after he drowned while rescuing his nine-year-old niece.
Amir Fryszer Guttman, who was known as a former member of band Hi Five, died after the tragic incident over the weekend, aged 41.
Mr Guttman, who had suffered from ill health for some time, was on a trip to a beach with his family when his young niece Shachar began to struggle as the tide them both out to sea.
The singer fought to rescue her, holding her above the water before a group of surfers helped bring her back to shore.
The nine-year-old was unharmed, but Guttman was rushed to hospital after the incident.
He passed away a day later after suffering multiple organ failure.
The singer, who is survived by his husband Yanai Fryszer and their young son, was a passionate supporter of LGBT equality.
Dr. Yaron Bar Lavi of Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center told the Times of Israel: “To our sorrow, despite intense efforts, he died of a multiple organ failure. He never regained consciousness.”
Michal Amdursky, a friend of Guttman who had been with him at the beach, said: “The sea was vicious. Amir went into the water with his niece and another friend, and within seconds they were carried away [by the tide].
“Amir held his niece above the water, so she won’t drown. He reached the point of exhaustion.
“My husband and two other guys went into the water to get them. Amir swallowed a lot of water. The niece is fine.”
Posting on Facebook, Amdursky wrote: “My love, I will never stop looking at the pictures from yesterday, and how happy and calm you are… please come back.”
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Guttman had been an outspoken voice in favour of same-sex adoptions in the country, petitioning the government for adoption rights..
Same-sex couples have been able to adopt in Israel since 2008.
However, the government has flip-flopped on the issue several times, and recently announced it would be opposing same-sex adoption at the High Court.
At the time Guttman fiercely attacked the decision, branding the decision an “insult” to his family.