Sussex

Dylan Alkins family 'crushed' by loss of swept away boy

Dylan Alkins
Image caption Specialist teams have continued searching the coastline for Dylan

The family of a 14-year-old boy who was swept out to sea hours before a storm battered Britain have been left "totally crushed" by his loss.

Dylan Alkins had been playing at the shore with friends at Newhaven's West Beach, in East Sussex, on Sunday.

In a tribute, his father, Danny Alkins, said he felt he had lost half his life.

Specialist teams continued their search for Dylan on Wednesday and a helicopter carried out a sweep of the coastline from Beachy Head to Peacehaven.

Mr Alkins said his son was an amazing boy who was full of character, cheeky and loveable and a talented young man.

"He will be sadly missed and never ever forgotten," he said. "To me it feels like I have lost half my life.

"Myself, his three younger brothers and stepmum are totally crushed by what has happened, it will never be the same for us.

"My boy was taken far too young. Heartbroken. I just want him back."

'Amazing boy'

Amy Kattenhorn, Dylan's mother, said there were no words to describe how she was feeling.

She said: "My first born son has been stolen from me and I am completely and utterly devastated by this tragic accident.

"I will hold on to Dylan forever in my heart and I have the best memories of him that nobody can ever take away from me.

"He was an amazing boy and will be sadly missed by all of his family and friends."

Dylan was last seen playing in the surf about 30ft (10m) from the shore at about 16:15 GMT. None of his friends was injured.

Sussex Police said an immediate and an intensive search involving police, coastguard and the Newhaven in-shore lifeboat followed in "atrocious conditions".

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