August 19, 2017
Flowers laid on Burnham seafront five years after Dylan Cecil tragedy

Flowers were laid on Burnham-On-Sea seafront on Saturday (August 19th) in memory of Dylan Cecil, a four year-old boy who died five years ago after being swept from the town's jetty.

Dylan's grandparents Jackie and Dave McCollum, pictured, laid flowers and at 6pm - the same time that Dylan fell into the sea in 2012 - members of Burnham Coastguard, RNLI and BARB gathered with the family next to the plaque in his memory.

Burnham's marine rescue crews were called out on August 19th, 2012 at 6pm following reports of a young boy in the water next to Burnham's jetty.

The Cecil family were in the area visiting family and had decided to go for a trip to the beach when tragedy struck.

Tragically, while he was playing in the shallow water on the jetty, four-year-old Dylan slipped and fell into the sea.

His mother and father attempted to rescue him by jumping into the water and also nearly became victims of the strong incoming tidal currents. Within seconds, Dylan had been carried out to sea.

Coastguards, RNLI and BARB crewmembers undertook a full-scale search in an attempt to find the missing boy.

They searched until 2am and then returned at around 4.30am the following day to continue a shoreline search.

The teams returned every day to continue the search until Dylan's body was sadly found washed up by a beach walker near the yacht club on August 23rd.

A spokesman from Burnham Coastguards said: "This was a dark time for the family, the team and the community as a whole."

"But from darkness comes light. The Cecil family wanted something positive to come from their tragedy."

"This came in the form of the Dylan Cecil Memorial Fund, a fantastic charity which was set up in 2014 in his name by members of the rescue teams that took part in the search for Dylan and his family."

The memorial fund uses the money raised to provide a holiday to those who who are in need, for reasons of ill health, disability, financially disadvantaged families in need of respite holidays.

Since 2014 it has helped six families including those of young carers, and earlier this year a terminally ill mother was able to take her children away and leave them with cherished memories before passing away.

A Dylan Cecil memorial fund spokesman said: "Every holiday provided gives the Cecil family some comfort that although gone, Dylan is not forgotten and that his passing has given hope, light and love to others which they will always remember."

"Everyone who was on service that day and the following days after will always remember and we send our thoughts to the family on this day and every day."

If you would like to get involved or donate to the Dylan Cecil Memorial fund, or if you know someone who should be nominated then contact and find out more.

Since the tragedy, a number of safety improvements have been introduced by Sedgemoor District Council to make the beach safer - RNLI lifeguards are now in place alongside beach wardens and jetty supervisors, and improved signs has been installed to warn visitors of the dangers.


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