Father of boy who died in lake drowning teams up with RNLI

The father of a 13-year-old boy who tragically drowned in a County Down lake is teaming up with the RNLI to educate children on water safety.

Jay Moffat was swimming with his friends in Scarva when he began to struggle.

“It still doesn’t feel real. I know it’s real but maybe I haven’t accepted it,” said his father, Wayne.

Wayne rushed to the lake and tried to recover his son from the water.

Emergency services were also dispatched but it was too late to save Jay.

“It was a very traumatic day. It was traumatic for everybody down there. There was members of the fire brigade that we knew…they were traumatised by it. It was like something out of a horror film,” said Wayne.

“Deep down I sort of knew that he wasn’t going to make it … but you know as a Dad, you stop at nothing to try and save your child.”

Wayne’s son’s death is something that plays on his mind every day.

He’s now determined to channel his grief into something positive by educating young children on the dangers of water and life saving skills.

“I don’t want it to be a case of ‘oh it’s just an accident, move on’ … I want him (Jay) to have a lasting effect on what can be changed and prevent it happening to anybody else,” said Wayne.

Killian O’Kelly, who is the RNLI’s Water Safety Education Manager, said: “If you fall into water accidentally, you have to fight the urge to swim. What we want you to do is to float. 

“How you float, is you extend your arms and legs into a starfish shape. You put your head back so that your airway is facing up towards the sky. After 60-90 seconds of floating there, you will be able to get your breath back.”

For more advice on water safety, visit the RNLI website.

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