Search called off for missing boy from Kettering

Burnham-on-Sea
The boy went missing at Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset Photo: ITV News

A search and rescue operation for a boy believed to be from Kettering in Northamptonshire who is missing off the coast of Somerset has resumed this morning.

Emergency services were called to Burnham-on-Sea at about 6.30pm last night after the 4-year-old boy's parents entered the water trying to find him.

The search was abandoned due to poor light but started again this morning at sunrise.

The boy has now been named as four-year-old Dylan Cecil is believed to have 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, 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 this afternoon but on a smaller scale and that searches in the water have now been stopped.

"We've scaled back the search to some degree, but we will be out this afternoon with the Coastguard teams to look across the mud flats at low water," he said.

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."

He added that the search would inevitably have to be called off at some point, probably by the end of today.

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."

More details are available on ITV West