A FISHERMAN who helped in the search for Dylan Cecil off the coast at Burnham-on-Sea has spoken to the News after the youngster’s body was found.

Thomas McDade, 42, of Chard, fished at Burnham for many years, and he and pals Mark Giblett, of Bridgwater, and Darren Wright, of Highbridge, walked sections of the mudflats last week searching for four-year-old Dylan, who slipped from a jetty into the water on August 19.

It was five days later at around 12.30pm on Friday that Dylan’s body was found at Burnham Yacht Club less than half a mile from the jetty.

Thomas, who moved to Chard in 2010 having lived all of his life in the Burnham and Highbridge area, said: “I know it sounds a bit strange, but I was pleased when they found Dylan’s body.

“If he’d gone out into the Bristol Channel I don’t think he’d have been found.”

Thomas, who works as a window cleaner in and around the Chard area, began fishing at Burnham when he was aged 12.

“When I heard about what happened I knew I had to help in the search,” he said.

“It really touched me what happened and I felt so sorry for Dylan’s parents.

“When it happened, and because I know the mudflats up there like the back of my hand, I decided I’d help in the search.”

Thomas was left frustrated when the official search was called off, and he was planning to continue looking before news came through that Dylan, who had been in Burnham with his mum and dad, Rachel McCollum and Darren Cecil, visiting grandparents, had been found.

“That stretch of water up there is so dangerous,” he said.

“The mudflats are very dangerous and you have to be so careful.

“I’d urge anyone who visits the Burnham area to take care on the beach.”