Silent tribute to sea tragedy boy

A "beautiful" child with an "impish smile" that could melt hearts is how a four-year-old boy who died after slipping off a jetty was described at a memorial service.

Reverend Graham Witts led the service for Dylan Cecil, who died after falling into the sea while on holiday in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, with his parents Darren and Rachel last Sunday.

More than 400 people joined the boy's parents at St Andrews Church to remember their son, whose body was found by a member of the public four days after he went into the water on mudflats less than half a mile away at a nearby sailing club.

Some of the congregation had travelled down from the boy's home town of Kettering, Northamptonshire, to pay their respects.

Earlier, members of the Burnham on Sea community joined the family for a minute's silence on the town's seafront, where numerous bouquets of flowers, teddy bears and other tributes have been left by well-wishers.

During the service Reverend Witts said: "Our experience as people in this town and visitors this week cannot come anywhere near your own feelings and grief. However, a tragedy such as this affects everyone - and so we have all shared in the rollercoaster of emotions, hopes and fears.

"We have shared in something of those feelings, with the hopes and prayers of many that Dylan's body would be found and returned to you to help you in your loss. So your own private grief and loss has been shared - in part by members of this community. Both also by those involved directly in the rescue and recovery operations."

He paid tributes to all those involved in the rescue effort, including Dylan's parents who went into the water to try to save their son.

"It is a tribute to you both, Rachel and Darren, that you both went into the water, no doubt an instinctive thing to do, but which was potentially dangerous to your own lives," he said.

Dylan will be laid to rest at a funeral service in his home town. An inquest is to be opened into his death in Taunton on Tuesday.