RNLI tells of heartbreaking search for four-year-old

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 August 2012

Burnham RNLI craft break off the search.

Burnham RNLI craft break off the search.

Archant

WESTON’S RNLI crew has been left ‘emotionally and physically drained’ by the heart-breaking search for Dylan Cecil.

"When we walked across the pier yesterday there was no chit-chat, most people were away with their own thoughts.
Nobody likes to be seen to cry, but I’m sure a few of us will have some quiet thoughts.
"

Weston RNLI’s Mike Buckland

Helmsman Mike Buckland told the Mercury clinging to the hope the volunteers could bring the little boy’s body back to his parents spurred them on to keep searching for hours on Sunday and Monday in Burnham.

He explained how each member of the crew would stare at ‘every little wave and ripple’ on the water during the search in case they missed something and became the one responsible for not bringing the little boy home.

The crew’s main boat Atlantic was out for 15 hours, with eight to 10 on board at a time and a team back at base on Birnbeck Pier.

But when the search for the four-year-old, who went missing while out with his parents on Sunday evening, was scaled down Monday afternoon and the RNLI was stepped down, Mike says he and his fellow crew members walked back to the lifeboat house in silence, ‘deflated’ that their search had been unsuccessful.

He said: “The majority of incidents have the potential to end in tragedy and we accept that we will come across it at some point in our career.

“But many of us are parents and it touches us even more when there is a child involved. For us it’s about what we can do to make a difference.

“Perhaps that is to recover a body so that a family can have closure in whatever way shape or form is suitable for them and may help them in the smallest way.

“I have been involved with the RNLI for 13 years and this has been the saddest situation I have been involved in.

“I feel for the family as they did everything they could. We wanted to try and give the parents some closure.

“Most of the guys who were involved from our end in the search for Dylan were older hands by coincidence.

“I got home yesterday and I felt physically and emotionally drained and flat and I’m sure most of us felt like that.

“When we walked across the pier yesterday (Mon) there was no chit-chat, most people were away with their own thoughts.

“Nobody likes to be seen to cry, but I’m sure a few of us will have some quiet thoughts.”

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