Family thanks search efforts at funeral for boy who died in river accident

The family of six-year-old Lucas Dobson has thanked all those involved in the search for their “beautiful little boy” at his funeral service.

Lucas died after falling into the River Stour in Sandwich, Kent in August, while on a fishing trip with his family.

Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral service at St George’s Church in Deal on what would have been his seventh birthday.

Lucas Dobson funeral
The coffin is carried out of St George’s Church (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Guests arrived at the church wearing red in support of Lucas – some had also dyed their hair.

His father, Nathan Dobson, delivered an emotional eulogy, saying: “You were my strength when I was weak.

“You were the light that shined in the dark. I’m sorry you had to leave so soon.”

Reverend Peter Ould conducted the service, addressing the packed church.

He paid tribute to the “ordinary people” who did so much to help with the search.

Lucas Dobson funeral
A framed photo sits by the altar (Michael Drummond/PA)

He said: “As a community was united in their search for Lucas and then their grief for his loss, we shared our love for each other again and again and again.

“Our love for Nathan and Kirsty and their families – Nathan, I will never forget your courage as you stood in front of hundreds of people and thanked them for their support, Kirsty your love as you went to social media to pour out your heart.

“Lucas was lucky, is lucky, to have parents like you.”

Lucas Dobson funeral
Members of the emergency services attended (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Members of the emergency services joined Lucas’ family and friends at the church, and were honoured with a standing ovation.

A family statement said: “Kirsty, Nathan and all the members of Lucas’ family want to thank everyone who has come today to pay their respects to our beautiful little boy.

“We are very grateful to all the members of the emergency services, and to everyone who came to support us in the search for him.

“This is a very sad day for us, and we are grateful for the space to celebrate his life, and grieve our deep loss.”

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