Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Chronicle Live
Chronicle Live
Kristy Dawson

Family of three children who died after falling into icy lake pay tribute to their 'beautiful boys'

The heartbroken family of three of the children who died after falling into a freezing lake have paid tribute to their "beautiful boys".

Brothers Finlay Butler, eight, and Samuel Butler, six, and their cousin Thomas Stewart, 11, were pulled from Babbs Mill Lake in Solihull, near Birmingham, on Sunday. A fourth boy, Jack Johnson, 10, also fell into the icy water.

The children were rushed to hospital where Finlay and Thomas passed away a short time later. Jack tragically died the same day and Samuel lost his fight for life on Wednesday.

Read more: BBC News presenter moved to tears as she learns of deaths of three boys in Solihull lake live on air

The grieving family of Finlay, Samuel and Thomas has released a heartfelt tribute to their boys. They 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."

An abundance of floral tributes have been left at the Babbs Mill lake (Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

Thomas' older brother paid tribute to him and his cousin ahead of the sad news that Samuel had died.

He wrote: "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."

Extensive underwater searches were carried out, following the tragedy, and have now concluded.

Superintendent Rich Harris, of West Midlands Police, 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."

Chronicle Live previously reported how North East fire crews were warning people to never walk on frozen lakes and rivers after the tragic death of the children in the West Midlands.

With temperatures expected to drop as low as -15 in some areas of the UK, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) are reminding people to be cautious around open water.

Jay Shepherd, TWFRS station manager for Byker and Gosforth, said: "Incidents like this rock communities and lead us all to hold our loved ones that little bit closer. But they are also terrible reminders of the dangers posed by the water.

"We have large patches of water across Tyne and Wear that will be iced over in this cold weather. We would ask that you never walk on ice or enter stretches of water.

"If you see someone in trouble - do not enter the water. Call 999 immediately and try and reach them with an object from dry land. Incidents like this are extremely rare but can have tragic consequences, as we have seen in Solihull."

Read more:

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.