Bristol

Bristol Harbour death: Mother speaks of heartbreak

Brooklyn-Lee Sheehan Image copyright Tracey Edgell
Image caption Brooklyn-Lee Sheehan was recovered from Bristol Harbour just over a week ago

The mother of a 17-year-old boy who died after jumping into a harbour to retrieve a ball has spoken of her heartbreak since her son's death.

Brooklyn-Lee Sheehan was recovered from Bristol Harbour just over a week ago.

His mother, Tracey Edgell, said: "There's no words to describe the pain; it's tremendous, it just doesn't stop."

One of Brooklyn-Lee's friends, Amy Pitts, claimed the rope on a life ring that was thrown to him "snapped" as they tried to save him last Thursday.

Another friend, Kelsey Woods, said he "would have still been here" if it had not broken.

A petition calling for extra safety measures around the city's harbour has been signed by more than 3,000 people.

Ms Edgell said she dropped her son off in the city centre the day he died, so he could meet his friends and go to the Balloon Fiesta.

"The last words I said to him were 'stay safe and don't do anything stupid'," she said.

Image copyright Tracey Edgell
Image caption Brooklyn-Lee's mother said he son was caring and thoughtful

That night as she was waiting for him to return home, two police officers knocked at her door.

"They said there's been an incident at the water side and he's been under the water for half an hour and he hasn't resurfaced," she said.

"My heart just sank. I knew he was dead."

On Friday, a search of the harbour was resumed and the body of a young man was found.

Image copyright Tracey Edgell
Image caption Brooklyn-Lee was a "character" who liked to "do his own thing"

Ms Edgell said walking into the mortuary had been the "hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life".

"I just wanted to hug and kiss him, but when his father and I went in we just broke down," she said.

"But it was such a comfort to see him."

'Caring young man'

She said her son was a "character" who "did his own thing and was his own person".

"He didn't have a bad word to say about anybody," she said.

"He was a little tearaway at times, but he matured into a caring, thoughtful young man."

Speaking about the petition, she said Bristol City Council needed to "do something".

The council said it had recently put in additional life chains at water level and added there would be an investigation and a review of safety measures.

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