year-old Dylan Cecil was a 'bubbly, lovely child' says family
devastated family of a four-year-boy who went missing in the sea
after slipping off Burnham-On-Sea's jetty on Sunday evening have
described him as a "bubbly, lovely" child.
Cecil's parents frantically tried to rescue him on Sunday evening
after he slipped off the town's jetty into the sea, but were unable
to reach him.
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.
family, from Kettering in Northamptonshire, were visiting Ms McCollum's
parents, who live locally, and who today said they could not have
wished for a better grandson.
Dylan's parents' desperate efforts to save their son the couple
had to be pulled from the water by passers-by and treated for
in front of a large number of floral tributes on the town's Esplanade,
Dylan's grandparents said they wanted to thank everyone involved
in the rescue effort.
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."
always had them for a week and would spoil them and Dylan always
called us seaside nanny and granddad."
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."
McCollum said: "We couldn't have wished for a grandson any
better. I just want to give thanks to everybody who has helped
in the search mission and tried to get Dylan back for us. I can't
say thank you enough really. We're all just devastated."
Keith McCoubrey, of Avon and Somerset Police, pictured right with
Coastguard Tris Newey, said the
family had been down on the beach playing with their three young
some point, Dylan wanted to go and see the sea, get a bit closer
to it, and they went out on the jetty here, and unfortunately
Dylan slipped off the edge and went under the water," said
this time of year the tides here are very fast-flowing and the
undercurrents are quite strong; unfortunately Dylan didn't re-surface.
Both his mum and dad entered the water immediately to try and
recover Dylan, without success."
parents were in the water for quite a few minutes and they actually
had to be pulled from the water by passers-by."
that point a large-scale search and rescue operation was launched,
co-ordinated here by my colleagues in the Coastguard."
lifeboats, hovercrafts, police and helicopters were all involved
in the search operation which continued through Sunday night until
Monday at 4.30pm when it was called off.