William Moritz died while he was trying to save his daughter from drowning on a Jacksonville beach, WJAX-TV reported.
Moritz, 28, who is from Michigan, was in the city for his father’s memorial service.
The incident occurred on Saturday at around noon, just hours before the memorial service.
A GoFundMe page for Moritz said he dove into the surf to save his daughter, Maddy.
— ActionNewsJax (@ActionNewsJax) April 17, 2016
“A tide pulled Maddy into the ocean and he dived in to get her out, as a result of saving Maddy’s life he ultimately lost his,” the page reads.
— ActionNewsJax (@ActionNewsJax) April 16, 2016
Maddy was taken to Wolfson Children’s Hospital and was released Saturday evening, CBS News reported.
Maddy’s mother, Magan, said that Mortiz’s father died two weeks prior.
Magan released a statement about his death:
“Bill was the most kind hearted selfless person I knew. Always there for his friends and family. There was never a time he didn’t put others before himself. Anyone could depend on Bill for anything in the world. He was the kind of person people were so grateful to have in their life and I was so lucky to have him in mine,” the statement read. “His daughter was his world and he always spoke of her with sparkle in his eyes. He took pride in being a father everyday. Madelynn was his world. Such an amazing man who I now look to as my hero for courageously saving our beautiful daughters life.”