Body of Jessica Lawson, 12, who died in France swimming accident, returns to UK


The body of a 12-year-old girl who died in a swimming accident on a school trip to France has been brought back to the UK, her family has said.

Jessica Lawson was one of 24 students from Wolfreton School in Hull who were visiting an activity resort near Meymac in the Massif Central region of the country when she died earlier this month.

Jessica was taken to hospital in Limoges after an incident at the centre when a pontoon the children had been jumping from on a lake reportedly overturned and she died the following morning.

Today, a Humberside Police statement said: "The family of Jessica Lawson, who sadly died whilst on a school trip to France, have confirmed that Jessica has been repatriated home."

The statement continued: "The family wish to thank friends and the wider public for the support they have received during this difficult time, but request that their wishes for the details of Jessica's funeral arrangements not to be made public are respected.

"The family wish to grieve privately as they try to come to terms with their loss. They therefore respectfully ask that those who have not been formally invited to the funeral do not attend."

Her father Antony Lawson said on Facebook after his daughter's death: "This only happens to other people! Yesterday we became those 'other people' we lost our beautiful loving and kind daughter Jessica in tragic circumstances in France.

"We are here for her and are waiting to get her back home to be remembered forever."

He said she was "mum's baby girl" and "dad's birthday girl", adding: "We all love you and miss you. All our love forever and ever. You will always be with us mum and dad and Polly and Hannah."

The family paid tribute to Jessica as "the most beautiful and outgoing girl", as French authorities launched an investigation into the circumstances of the death.

The incident happened at the Club Correze adventure centre in Meymac on a trip run by the Activ4 tour operator, which included chances to kayak, sail, mountain bike and go climbing.

Local media France Bleu reported Jessica had spent several days at the centre and was among a group playing in a lake and jumping from a pontoon.

The pontoon then overturned and some of the children were trapped underneath. A lifeguard dived down twice before finding Jessica, it was reported.

Those on the trip, including three members of staff, later returned to East Yorkshire.