A four-year-old boy who went missing in the sea while on a trip to the coast was named by Avon and Somerset Police as Dylan Cecil, from Kettering.
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.
The search for Dylan, from Kettering, was formally called off on Monday afternoon.
The Coastguard earlier confirmed that the search for Dylan, who was dressed in a T-shirt and shorts, had become a body recovery operation.
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”.
“At about 6 o’clock yesterday evening, a family were visiting the area from Kettering and they were down on the beach playing with their three young children, the oldest of which is Dylan, who is a four-year-old boy,” he said.
“At some point Dylan wanted to go and see the sea, get a bit closer to it, and they went out on the jetty here, and unfortunately Dylan slipped off the edge and went under the water.
“At this time of year the tides here are very fast-flowing and the undercurrents are quite strong; unfortunately Dylan didn’t re-surface.
“Both his mum and dad entered the water immediately to try and 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.
“There’s not much one can say in such tragic circumstances apart from the fact our hearts and minds and our sympathies are with the family at this time.
“They are clearly traumatised by the events and have asked that their privacy is respected.”
The Coastguard said the spring tides and the current which runs across the jetty could be “quite strong” and can go at up to four or five knots.
The water is also impossible to see through because it is full of mud.
“The conditions on the jetty are that it would have been impossible to see the edge and that may have led to this accident occurring,” Mr Newey said.
“Certainly, at the time, the water on either side of the jetty was quite deep and, combined with the vast current flow, once you’ve fallen into the water it is very difficult to swim back to shore.”