Two-year-old boy drowns on caravan holiday

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The Independent Online

A boy aged two drowned yesterday in a river near a caravan park where his family was staying on a short bank holiday break.

Police found the child's body on a mudbank of the Wyre, in Lancashire, two hours after one of his grandparents raised the alert.

An extensive search was launched after the child went missing from the site at Shard Bridge. Detective Inspector Stuart Williams, from Lancashire police, said "everyone had tried their best" to rescue the boy, from Rochadale.

"The river is fast-flowing and was quite high at midday," Det Insp Williams said. "But once the tide began to recede, a police officer spotted the child's body lying on a bank in the mud in the centre of the river, a quarter of a mile downstream from the caravan park."

The park's manager, Colin Gaw, said the boy had been staying at the park with his grandparents and mother.

Meanwhile, weather forecasters confirmed that last month was the wettest April on record, in sharp contrast to the warm temperatures and glorious sunshine that most holidaymakers enjoyed across Britain yesterday.

Provisional figures released by the Met Office yesterday said that, on average, the country saw 142mm of rain last month, slightly more than the previous record of 139mm set more than two centuries ago, in 1782.

Ewen McCallum, the head of forecasting at the Met Office, said: "Some areas have fared better than others but a number of individual towns and cities have also seen record-breaking April rain.

"The dry weather we expect in the next few days will be a welcome relief."

The Met Office predicted the rest of this week would remain warm and sunny, although clouds and drizzle will affect the east coast early today.

Thousands of day-trippers exploited the fine weather for unplanned visits to resorts such as Bournemouth. There were similar reports from the Lake District, the Highlands and Wales. Motoring organisations were bracing themselves for delays or accidents as holiday-makers returned home last night, but the main routes were clear yesterday.