Sea death family hail lovely child

Floral tributes left at the scene in Burnham-on-Sea where the search for four-year-old Dylan Cecil continues

Coastguards are searching for four-year-old Dylan Cecil, who slipped into the water at Burnham-on-Sea

An RNLI crew at the scene in Burnham-on-Sea where a four-year-old went missing

First published in National News © by

The devastated family of a four-year-boy who went missing in the sea while on holiday have described him as a "bubbly, lovely" child.

Dylan Cecil's parents frantically tried to rescue him after he slipped off a jetty into the water in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, but were unable to reach him.

The youngster had wanted to get a closer look at the sea and went onto the jetty with his parents, Rachel McCollum and Darren Cecil, and his two younger sisters, aged one and three, at about 6pm on Sunday.

The family, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, were visiting Ms McCollum's parents who live locally, and who said they could not have wished for a better grandson.

Following Dylan's parents' desperate efforts to save their son the couple had to be pulled from the water by passers-by and treated for water ingestion.

The water off the jetty is impossible to see through because of the mud flats and the strong spring tide currents would have made it very difficult to swim back to shore, the coastguard said.

Dylan's close family have spent the day at the scene, anxiously waiting for news. Stood next to a growing pile of floral tributes, Dylan's grandparents said they wanted to thank everyone involved in the rescue effort.

Jackie McCollum said: "Rachel, our daughter, and Darren came up Friday with the kids, they were going back today and we were going to have the kids until Friday. He loved coming up to see us, he loved the seaside. He was a bubbly, bubbly, lovely kid. He was our only grandson. We've got five granddaughters, but he was our only grandson."

Announcing the search had been officially called off, Vince Irwin, coastguard sector manager for North Devon, said: "We've had an extensive search throughout last night, the early hours of this morning and again this afternoon and have covered every possible area that we can think of. As you would expect it's not good news for the family, like it's not good news for us, they were very upset."

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