Police formally identify body found in the sea

Police have formally identified the body as that of Dylan Cecil, four, of Kettering
Police have formally identified the body as that of Dylan Cecil, four, of Kettering

Officers have confirmed the body of a young boy found near to the yacht club in Burnham-on-Sea on Thursday was Dylan Cecil, four, of Kettering.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: “Following the tragic incident in which Dylan fell into the water at Burnham-on-Sea, the public are being thanked for their help and support.

“Last Sunday (August 19) Dylan was swept out to sea after he fell from the jetty.

“His body was recovered yesterday (Thursday, August 23) and he has been formally identified.

“A coroner’s investigation has been launched.”

The spokesman added that a memorial service will be held for Dylan at St Andrews Church in Burnham-on-Sea from 6pm on Sunday. The public are invited to attend.

The formal identification of Dylan’s body comes five days after he fell into the sea while on holiday.

A statement released by the family when the body was found on Thursday said: “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 Coast Guard and the Burnham-on-Sea Area Rescue Boat.

“We are still extremely traumatised but very grateful that it appears Dylan has been returned to allow us to bury our son.”

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

His mother, Rachel McCollum, said earlier this week that he fell into a “whirlpool” and she knew immediately that she would not see him again despite her desperate efforts to save him.

Dylan’s family has remained at the scene during the search and were being updated about the recovery operation.

Dylan was visiting his grandparents in nearby Brean with his mother, father Darren Cecil and two younger sisters, aged one and three, when the tragic accident happened.

He had wanted to get a closer look at the sea when he slipped off the side of the jetty and disappeared beneath the muddy water.

His parents desperately tried to rescue him, but were unable to reach their son and had to be pulled from the water by passers-by.

A large search and rescue operation was launched by the coastguard and police after a member of the public saw Dylan’s parents attempting to rescue him.

The search for Dylan, who was dressed in a T-shirt and shorts, was called off at 4.30pm on Monday but volunteers continued to look for the boy in order to bring closure to the family.

Ms McCollum said: “He was literally not even a metre away from me and he was jumping and slipped and I watched him fall in.

“I jumped in straight after him - what more could I do? He went. I knew as soon as I jumped in I was not getting him back.”

The waters off Burnham-on-Sea have one of the highest tidal rise and fall ranges in the world and the shoreline is notorious for its dangerous mudflats.

The local authority, Sedgemoor District Council, said that it was satisfied that all its procedures were followed correctly and there are many warning signs along the beach, esplanade and on the jetty hut.

But it said it is also carrying out an internal review “to establish all relevant information”.