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Dylan Cecil death: Mourners pay last respects after Burnham-on-Sea jetty tragedy

By The Bristol Post  |  Posted: September 05, 2012

The coffin of Dylan Cecil leaving after the funeral service with father Darren Cecil (front right) and mother Rachel McCollum (middle, blue dress)

The coffin of Dylan Cecil leaving after the funeral service with father Darren Cecil (front right) and mother Rachel McCollum (middle, blue dress)

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Family and friends of a four-year-old boy who drowned after slipping from a jetty into the sea have laid him to rest.

Dylan Cecil was on holiday visiting his grandparents when he fell into the water at Burnham-on-Sea on August 19.

He was said to have been trying to get a closer look at the sea when the tragedy happened.

The youngster, from Kettering in Northamptonshire, disappeared while with his parents, Rachel McCollum and Darren Cecil.

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They jumped in after their boy to try to save him but could not find him in the swirling, fast-flowing and muddy water.

Emergency services quickly launched a search and rescue operation, but he could not be saved.

Dylan’s body was found four days later, about half a mile from where he was last seen, at the town’s sailing club.

At St Mary’s Church in Kettering yesterday hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their last respects to the youngster, many wearing blue in honour of Dylan’s favourite football team, Kettering Town, and computer game character Sonic the Hedgehog.

Mr Cecil was one of the pall-bearers who lifted his son’s blue coffin, which also had a picture of Sonic on the side and a football scarf draped over it, from a white horse-drawn carriage and carried it into church.

Many mourners hugged one another and wiped away tears as they silently watched.

Members of Kettering Town FC were also part of the congregation.

As Dylan’s mother left the church after the hour-long service, she said goodbye to her son and bent to kiss his coffin, before it was lifted into the horse-drawn carriage.

A poem she had written was read out during the service.

Handwritten messages on floral tributes inside the hearse described the sadness felt by Dylan’s family at his death.

Dylan was visiting his grandparents David and Jackie McCollum, who live in nearby Brean, when he drowned.

Their wreath included a message sending love from his “seaside Nanny and Grandad”.

Cars came to a halt as the carriage carrying Dylan was driven slowly from the church, followed by his parents and family in cars behind, as he was taken for a private burial.

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