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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Pa Reporters

Emotional tributes to four boys who died in frozen lake tragedy

PA Media

Four boys who died after being pulled from a frozen lake in Solihull have been named by police as their devastated families paid tribute to them.

West Midlands Police said the boys were brothers Samuel Butler, six, and Finlay Butler, eight, their cousin Thomas Stewart, 11, and Jack Johnson, 10.

They were pulled from freezing water in Babbs Mill Lake on Sunday and rushed to hospital. The deaths of Finlay, Thomas and Jack were confirmed on Monday while Samuel died in hospital on Wednesday.

In a statement, Thomas’ older brother described him as a “lively little soul” with a “big heart”, while also paying tribute to Fin.

He said: “Thomas was such a lively little soul, he had a big heart for such a young kid and he was so beautiful. He loved being outside playing with his mates. I love you Tom, big bro will take care of the family and I will see you soon. Make sure you keep practising on warzone and get a win, will you?

“Can’t forget about my dinosaur man Fin, he loved dinosaurs so much and always showing me new things he built on Minecraft and all the new stuff he learnt on it. Gonna miss you little man.”

The family of Samuel, Finlay and Thomas added they had been “overwhelmed” by the support from the community and thanked the emergency services for trying to save the children, with one officer suffering mild hypothermia after trying to punch through the ice in order to get the boys out as quickly as possible.

The family said: “As a family we are devastated at the loss of our beautiful boys Tom, Fin and Sam in such tragic circumstances. We would like to thank the emergency services for all they did in rescuing the boys and to the community for their support, it has been overwhelming.

“We would like to pass on our condolences to Jack’s family at this very sad time, and ask for privacy from the media to begin to grieve.”

West Midlands Police said extensive underwater searches were carried out in the lake and have now concluded.

Supt Rich Harris said: “This is a tragedy beyond words and a grief that is unimaginable for the families and friends of the boys.

“The support from the community has been overwhelming, not just for the bereaved families, but also for the emergency services, for which we are extremely grateful.

“Our officers will remain in the area in the coming days. Please come and speak to us if you need to.”

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