The family of a four-year-old who drowned while on holiday says their lives have been shattered since his loss.
Dylan Cecil fell into the sea while playing on a jetty in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, on August 19 last year and drowned despite desperate rescue attempts by his mum Rachel McCollum and dad Darren Cecil.
Coroner Michael Rose at Dylan’s inquest in Taunton last week said the youngster’s death had been a tragic accident which had affected the whole community of Burnham-on-Sea.
He said there was nothing that could have been done to rescue Dylan because of the ferocious nature of the tide in Burnham-on-Sea.
Dylan’s grandfather John Cecil, of Kettering, contacted the Telegraph this week with a statement from Dylan’s parents.
They said: “The family would like to thank everyone who has continued to support them through these agonising last few months since the tragic loss of Dylan.
“Hopefully we can start to rebuild our shattered lives with the emphasis focused on making sure that our little angel is never forgotten and lives on in the memories of everyone who knew him and who have been touched by this tragedy.”
Dylan’s parents said they were in the process of setting up the Dylan Cecil Memorial Fund, which would help raise money to benefit under-privileged children in the future.
They added: “The fund is being set up by organisers in Burnham-on-Sea and already the Burnham Bike Knights have pledged their support by putting in donations they receive at their weekly gatherings during the summer.”
The family also said a charity football match held last year between two teams made up of family and friends and named The Sonics and Angry Birds, after Dylan’s favourite characters, would become an annual event.
They added: “This year, the teams will be playing for the Dylan Cecil Memorial Shield on June 22 at Kennedy’s Club in Finedon. All money raised will also go into the fund.”
Dylan’s mum also completed a sponsored skydive on Sunday, March 3, in Peterborough. Anyone wishing to make a contribution can email firstname.lastname@example.org.