Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Body found in sea search for boy

A search and rescue operation was launched after Dylan Cecil slipped into the water at Burnham-on-Sea
Floral tributes left at the scene in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, where the four-year-old Dylan Cecil, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, went missing

The body of a four-year-old boy who slipped from a jetty into the sea has been found less than half a mile away from where he went missing.

Dylan Cecil was on holiday with his family when he disappeared under the muddy water at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, at 6pm on Sunday.

His family, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, said while they are still traumatised by what has happened they are grateful to have his body back so they can bury him properly.

The body, found near a yacht club in the town at 12.30pm on Thursday, has yet to be formally identified, but police said they "strongly believe" it to be that of Dylan. The body was discovered by a member of the public at the high tide mark on the mudflats next to a row of sailing boats at the mouth of the River Brue.

Dylan's grandparents, David and Jackie McCollum, visited the place where the body was found and quietly placed a rose on the ground. They remained at the scene for a few minutes before walking away without comment. Earlier they, along with other members of Dylan's family, had been at the jetty next to the beach where a huge pile of flowers, candles and soft toys have been placed.

Dylan's mother, Rachel McCollum, and his father Darren Cecil, have maintained a constant vigil next to the jetty where their son fell into what Ms McCollum described as a "whirlpool".

Dylan was visiting his grandparents with his mother, father and two younger sisters, aged one and three. He had wanted to get a closer look at the sea when he slipped off the side of the jetty and disappeared beneath the water.

The Coastguard and police launched a large search and rescue operation after a member of the public saw Dylan's parents attempting to rescue him. It was called off on Monday but volunteers have continued to look for him to bring closure to his family.

Following the discovery of the body, Dylan's family said in a statement: "We would like to thank everyone for their help and support during this difficult time. We would like to express our gratitude for all the messages of sympathy and support from both the local community and wider public across the nation.

"In particular we would like to thank the people involved in the search - the police, RNLI, HM Coastguard and the Burnham-on-Sea Area Rescue Boat (BARB). We are still extremely traumatised but very grateful that it appears Dylan has been returned to allow us to bury our son."

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