Tributes to British schoolgirl after swimming tragedy on France trip

Tributes have been paid to a schoolgirl who died in a swimming accident on a school trip to France.

Jessica Lawson, 12, from Wolfreton School in Hull, was one of 24 students at an activity resort near Meymac in the Massif Central region of the country.

An investigation has been launched into the circumstances of her death.

Her family said she was "the most beautiful and outgoing girl", while the school's headteacher said her death was a "dreadful shock".

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Family of Jessica Lawson prepare to bring her home

The family of 12-year-old British schoolgirl Jessica Lawson are in France preparing to bring her body home "so she can be remembered forever".

Initial reports suggest Jessica and her friends swam out to a pontoon which flipped over, trapping her underneath but an inquiry is thought to have been opened into her death.

ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports:

France 'opens inquiry' into death of Jessica Lawson

The activity resort near Meymac in France where the tragedy happened. Credit: PA

An inquiry has reportedly been opened in France to determine if 12-year-old Jessica Lawson's death was "simply an accident" or not.

The youngster was on a school trip when she died in what has been described as a "swimming incident".

Mehdi Razine, a worker at the activity centre where the tragedy happened, said he saw a plastic pontoon on the lake flip over.

"There was a girl who suffered a nasty blow as it turned and she fell into the water."

French journalist Julien Balidas told ITV News Calendar it was a diving board which had collapsed and Jessica "didn't get out".

The other children on the trip are thought to be returning to the UK this afternoon.


Dad pays tribute to his 'beautiful, loving daughter'

An investigation has been launched into the circumstances of Jessica's death. Credit: Antony Lawson/Facebook

The father of a girl who died in a swimming accident on a school holiday to France has paid a family tribute to his "beautiful, loving daughter".

In a Facebook post, Anthony Lawson said:

This only happens to other people! Yesterday we became those 'other people' we lost our beautiful loving and kind daughter Jessica in tragic circumstances in France.

We are here for her and are waiting to get her back home to be remembered forever.

Mum's baby girl, dad's birthday girl and Polly Lawson's sister and friend they are and always will be 'chalk' and 'cheese'. Hannah Davison beautiful bridesmaid and of course Gracie the dogs best friend forever.

We all love you and miss you. All our love forever and ever. You will always be with us Mum & Dad & Polly & Hannah.

– Anthony Lawson
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French journalist: The diving board collapsed and she didn't get out

French journalist, Julien Balidas, describes the accident in which a schoolgirl from Hull died in France.

12-year-old Jess Lawson, who has been named online by her family, was on a trip with classmates from Wolfreton School, near Hull when the incident, which is being described as a "swimming accident" happened:

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Family pay tribute to schoolgirl killed on French trip

The family of a girl from Hull who died on a school trip to France have paid tribute to her.

Writing on Facebook, Polly Lawson said her 12-year-old sister, Jess, had died in what is being described as a 'swimming accident'.

She was among twenty four students and three staff on a visit to an adventure centre in the Massif Central region of France:

Polly Lawson paid tribute to her sister on the social media site Credit: Facebook
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Classmates of girl killed in French 'swimming accident' to return home

The classmates of a schoolgirl killed during a trip to France are to return home to Hull.

Jess Lawson died in what is being described as a 'swimming accident' near to Liginiac, in the south of the country.

Her classmates, from Wolfreton School, near Hull, who were with her on the trip are to return home:

We can confirm that the group from Wolfreton School in East Yorkshire is being repatriated to the UK and will be leaving Club Correze, Meymac, this evening. While the exact travel details are still being confirmed, Activ4 is working closely with the school to bring the group home as quickly as possible. Activ4’s managing director, Steve Scott, is on the ground in France personally coordinating the group’s repatriation.

Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the girl’s family at this difficult time.



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Death of school girl from Hull could spark criminal investigation

The death of a school girl from Hull could spark a criminal investigation in France, amid local media reports that the children became trapped after a pontoon they were playing on collapsed.

Jon Hill reports from Wolfreton School.

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Head teacher: Death of pupil a 'dreadful shock'

Wolfreton School head teacher Dave McCready has said the death of a pupil on a school trip to France is a "dreadful shock."

Mr McCready said authorities in France have already begun an investigation into the girl's death and her family are already in Meymac where the accident happened.

He said efforts were being made to bring the remaining pupils and staff back from France.

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School girl who died was on trip organised by Activ4

Activ4 logo

Activ4 have released the following statement:

We can confirm that a student on one of our trips to the south of France passed away this morning following a swimming incident yesterday afternoon. At this stage the exact circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear. The owners of the activity centre and senior management from Activ4 are working closely with the local authority and the school to provide all necessary support and assistance. While we cannot give out any further information at the current time, we ask for patience and understanding from the media during this difficult time for the parents, relatives and the students and teachers on the trip.

– Activ4
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