Jessica Lawson's death: Family pays tribute to 'most beautiful and outgoing girl' on Facebook

Family of 12-year-old pay tribute to 'the most beautiful and outgoing girl'

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The Independent Online

The family of Jessica Lawson, the 12-year-old girl who died in a swimming accident while on a school trip to France, have travelled to the activity camp in the Massif Central region where the incident occurred.

Jessica, one of 24 students from Wolfreton School in Hull visiting the resort, was injured in what was originally reported as a "swimming incident". She was airlifted to hospital in Limoges but later died.

She had been one of a group of children jumping from a pontoon, which overturned trapping some of them underneath it, according to French media reports.

A lifeguard dived down twice before finding her, it was reported.

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

Her sister Polly, who has gone with the family to Massif Central, wrote on Facebook: "Just thought I should let everyone who knows me and my family that the girl in this accident was unfortunately my sister Jess.

"We are in France doing everything we can to get her back into the country. All of your thoughts are appreciated at this time.

"Remember who she was not who she could have been, it is important we respect and cherish the memories we had with her. Thanks everyone again."

Hannah Davison, another sister, said: "We are all heartbroken and devastated. Jess was the most beautiful and outgoing girl and I am proud to be her sister. I will live my life to the full just like she would have done. I love you angel. Forever."

Dave McCready, head teacher at Wolfreton School, said Jessica's death was a "terrible tragedy" and a "dreadful shock to the whole school community".

Senior members of staff have travelled to the area to help the school party. Those on the trip, including three members of staff, had been due to return to the UK today.

Pupils have been interviewed by French authorities investigating the incident and counsellors will be available to help those affected.

The incident occurred 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.

Activ4 said it understood the incident occurred while the group was swimming after activities scheduled by Club Correze staff had finished.

He saud the company was working closely with the local authorities and the school.

(Additional reporting by agencies)