Published: February 28, 2013
Coroner gives accidental verdict at inquest into Dylan Cecil jetty tragedy

West Somerset's coroner has recorded an accidental verdict at the inquest into the tragic death of a toddler who fell into the sea from Burnham-On-Sea's jetty last summer.

Four year-old Dylan Cecil drowned after falling into Bridgwater Bay on August 19th after splashing about at the edge of the jetty.

At an inquest hearing in Taunton on Thursday (February 28th), Coroner Michael Rose heard emotional statements from Dylan's parents, Rachel McCollum and Darren Cecil, who described how they heard a 'plop' when he fell into the water.

They then desperately battled to try and find their son under the swift-flowing waters at the end of the jetty.

Coastguard Sector Manager Tris Newey outlined how emergency services from Burnham Coastguard, the RNLI, BARB and RAF had launched a huge search operation.

The inquest heard how Dylan's body had been found washed up on the beach near Burnham-On-Sea Sailing Club four days later by a member of the public.

"This was a terrible tragedy. Dylan was a lovable, lively young boy who was on holiday with his parents in Burnham-On-Sea," said Mr Rose.

"This was something that could happen to any parents - a nightmare. There was nothing that the parents could have done to prevent the accident."

"Dylan mistook his footing on the jetty which was partially covered by water. Tragically this happened on an incoming Spring tide - the highest of all when the water was flowing quickly at 4-5 knots."

"Even adults in this knee-deep water could be knocked over, but Dylan was quickly swept away. Both his parents tried their very best to find their son. I can only sympathize with their agony."

After recording an accidental verdict and giving the cause of death as drowning, he added: "It is a terrible tragedy that I hope you can put behind you."

Fresh floral tributes were laid on The Esplanade on Thursday, as pictured, to mark the inquest. A single rose was also laid at the end of the jetty to remember Dylan.

Mr Newey told the inquest hearing that he feels the amount of warning signs on the beach and around the jetty are "sufficient". reported earlier this week that a new audible warning system has been installed at the top of the jetty by Sedgemoor District Council to boost safety and that RNLI lifeguards will be in place on Burnham and Berrow beaches to further enhance the safety cover.

Pictured: Above, Dylan's parents, friends and family arriving at today's inquest hearing; and the flowers laid on The Esplanade today


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