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Sea slip tragedy boy on holiday

A four-year-old boy who went missing in the sea was on holiday with his family when he slipped off the end of a jetty.

Dylan Cecil's parents frantically tried to rescue him after he entered the water in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, but were unable to reach him and had to be pulled from the water by passers-by.

The youngster had been on the jetty with his parents, Rachel McCollum and Darren Cecil, and his two sisters. Police said Dylan had wanted to get closer to the sea when he slipped off the edge and went under the water.

His close family are being comforted as they remain at the scene, anxiously waiting for news. The search for Dylan, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, is continuing, but Coastguards admit it has been altered from one for a missing child to one for a body.

Severn Sector Coastguard manager Tris Newey said the search would continue but on a smaller scale and that searches in the water have now been stopped. Asked about the chances of recovering the body, he said: "I think now the time has gone by it's getting quite remote but I'm hopeful that when it comes to low water, there's a chance we will still be able to find him."

Speaking at the scene which was cordoned off by police, Superintendent Keith McCoubrey, of Avon and Somerset Police, described the incident as "tragic".

He said: "Both his mum and dad entered the water immediately to try to recover Dylan, without success. The parents were in the water for quite a few minutes and they actually had to be pulled from the water by passers-by.

"At that point a large-scale search and rescue operation was launched, co-ordinated here by my colleagues in the Coastguard. We've been fully supported by the Coastguard, the RAF search and rescue helicopter and police helicopters and we've had numerous boats out in the bay but unfortunately at this time we've been unable to recover Dylan."

Next to a growing pile of floral tributes, Dylan's grandparents said they could not have wished for a better grandson.

Ms McCollum's parents live in Burnham-on-Sea and Dylan had been visiting his grandparents, who he called his "seaside nanny and granddad".

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