Latest: Boy lost at sea is named, as search is scaled down
PUBLISHED: 12:03 20 August 2012 | UPDATED: 13:55 20 August 2012
THE four-year-old boy at the centre of a massive search-and-rescue operation after going missing in the sea off Burnham has been named as Dylan Cecil.
A huge search was sparked at around 6pm last night, after the youngster fell from the jetty while walking with his parents.
His frantic family plunged into the sea in an effort to rescue him, while a passer-by alerted the emergency services after seeing them struggling in the water.
Crews from BARB, the RNLI and Coastguard were on the scene in minutes, and pulled the parents from the water to give them treatment for water ingestion.
They then began a large-scale search for the missing youngster, who was visiting Burnham from Kettering with his family to see relatives.
Helicopters from the coastguard and police joined the search, which is still going on this morning.
His family have remained on the beach throughout the night, clinging to the fragile hope that he may be found alive.
However, officials involved in the search say crews are now looking for a body.
Superintendent head of Somerset west Keith McCoubrey: “(The family) were playing on the beach with three children; the youngest child was Dylan.
“At some point he wanted to see the sea. He went up to the jetty and slipped off the edge and went into the water.
“At this point the waves and the undercurrent were quite strong. Dylan did not resurface.
“Both parents went in to find him, without success. The parents were in the water for a few minutes and had to be pulled back by passers-by.
“It shows how dangerous the tides are. Within a few seconds, they could not find him.
“Unfortunately we have been unable to rescue Dylan. Our hearts, minds and sympathies are with the family.”
Searches of the shore and mudflats are continuing.
HM Coastguard sector manager Tris Newey: “We will continue this afternoon, a small-scale rescue, but the searches have now stopped.
“Time has gone by but there is still a chance we can still find him. We will have to wait and see.”
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