Dylan Cecil's mother's pain at losing 'perfect' son at sea

Rachel McCollum said the family was "devastated"

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The mother of a four-year-old boy who fell into the sea in Somerset has told how she knew within moments that he could not be rescued.

Dylan Cecil fell from the jetty at Burnham-on-Sea on Sunday evening, prompting a large rescue operation.

His mother Rachel McCollum said: "I jumped in straight after him, what more could I do? I knew as soon as I jumped in I wasn't getting him back."

Despite the rescue effort Dylan's body has not been found.

Both his parents jumped into the sea in a bid to rescue him but they could not reach him and had to be pulled to safety.

'Pulled under'

The rescue operation, involving lifeboats, hovercraft, helicopters and divers, was called off on Monday afternoon.

Mrs McCollum, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, said: "He was literally not even a metre away from me and he was jumping and slipped basically and I watched him fall in, jumped in straight after him, what more could I do?

"It was a whirlpool. It dragged me, I could feel myself being pulled under.

Dylan Cecil Dylan Cecil slipped off the edge of the jetty and did not resurface

"I don't know what my son went through, I really don't."

Speaking of her son, she added that he was "the most gorgeous boy, perfect in every single way".

Ms McCollum thanked everybody who helped in the search operation and urged people to report any possible sightings of his body.

"I don't want anybody to stop looking, I want everybody to keep their eyes open," she said.

"Even if they just have a little bit of an inkling or see something just phone... the police."

She added: "I just don't want him to be lost out there and not come back at all."

Meanwhile, Sedgmoor District Council said it would be conducting an internal review into the incident.

The authority said it was "satisfied that all [our] procedures were followed correctly".

"There are many warning signs along the beach, Esplanade and on the jetty hut," it said in a statement.

Rescue teams are also planning to observe a minute's silence during their annual rescue services day on Sunday.

The tribute will be made at the start of the event in Burnham-on-Sea.

Hundreds of candles were lit on Monday night at the seafront near where Dylan fell.

Coastguards have described the currents in Burnham as "hazardous" due to its tidal range, which is the second highest in the world.

Dylan's family had been on holiday in Burnham when the accident happened.

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