Parents of David Ejimofor call for urgent changes at Aberavon beach after ‘pain’ of son’s death

  • Report by ITV Wales reporter, Katie Fenton

The parents of a teenage boy who drowned near a popular beach have spoken about the "pain" their family is in since losing him.

David Ejimofor, 15, died after drowning at Aberavon beach, Port Talbot.

Emergency services were called to the beach at around 7.10pm on Monday evening after reports a teenager had got into difficulty in the sea.

David would be 'happy' his parents are trying to make a change, his mother and father said Credit: Family photo

South Wales Police said that despite the "best efforts of members of the public and emergency services", the boy "sadly passed away".

Recalling what happened on Monday evening, David's parent's, Alex and Maria Ejimofor, said: "David normally goes out with his friends so on that day he went out to the beach and unfortunately, what happened happened."

Maria recalled his last words to her: "He said 'mum, I'm going to go to the beach with my friends'."

David's parents had thanked the emergency services for trying to save him. Credit: Family photo

Alex continued: "I don't wish it on any child. We're in pain, our family is in pain, we're grieving.

"When we got there (Aberavon beach), the ambulance service was there, the police were there, the RNLI were there - everybody was doing their best try and save David."

David's family said he had dreams of one day becoming a bodybuilder.

He said everyone around was "trying their best", adding that an off-duty police officer, along with David's friends, "tried their best to try to save David".

"I have so much praise for all the services and his friends and the off-duty police officer who did their best there."

David's family are calling changes to be made at the beach such as the installation of barriers, more signage and warning for people who want to get into the water.

The petition has already been signed by more than 2,500 people.

"We appreciate all the efforts everybody did and that's why we want to make this change now," Alex said.

"We don't want any other child, anybody to go through what David went through. We want there to be safeguarding measures - anything anyone can do to make sure that place is safe."

"I spoke to some of the youths and they said that they would like to see changes there. More lifebuoys, more signs to make it more safer."

David was described by his family as a "ray of sunshine" Credit: Family photo

He added: "It's unfortunate it happened to my son but if I can save another child's life, I'm happy, we're happy.

"This is a loving community and I would like to save lives."

He said David would be "so happy" about his parents starting the petition.

"Anything to help, he'd be so happy because he's somebody who has an open heart, he helped people," he said.

Maria added: "He would be really happy that we're making a change to the community as well and for all the young generation.

"That's why we want this to happen now - not tomorrow - we would want everyone to help us sign the petition so that there will be a change."

David's family described him as a "vibrant and promising young boy". Credit: Family photo

Neath Port Talbot Council told ITV News that it will "make sure" that the petitions "receive attention within the multi-agency group that is co-ordinating the response to this very sad incident".

It is also reassuring residents and visitors that safety is of "paramount importance" and "a range of emergency services currently operate at the beach and are dedicated to ensuring the safety of all those who use it".

The council is also urging people to familiarise themselves with signage and advice to promote water safety at the beach.

Flowers were left at Aberavon beach following David's death. Credit: ITV Wales

Reflecting on David's life, his parents described him as a "ray of sunshine".

"David was a very kind, intelligent and caring person. He was loved by his friends and the community," said Maria.

They said he was very active and enjoyed going to the gym, with the hope of one day becoming a bodybuilder.

"He always used to tell me 'mummy, don't worry when I grow up I'm going to be a bodybuilder and I'm going to make lots of money for you. I'm going to make you proud' which he did, he's a very kind boy'," Maria said.

St. Joseph's Catholic School & Sixth Form Centre said it was "deeply saddened by the news of the tragic and unexpected" death of their Year 11 pupil.

Eugene Scourfield, the school's headteacher, added: "Please be assured that we have set up provision for support with the help of the NPT Counselling Service and our local clergy.

"Our chapel is open to pupils, parents and friends of our school community. Please keep the family in your prayers."