Published: 20:55, 28 August 2019
| Updated: 21:07, 28 August 2019
The parents of a schoolboy who lost his life after falling into a river have made an emotional appearance on TV to campaign for more safety measures.
Lucas Dobson died as a result of a tragic accident while on a fishing trip in Sandwich with his dad Nathan.
The six-year-old fell into the River Stour and was never seen again, despite his father and two other adults diving in to the water to try and save him.
Speaking to ITV Meridian about the moment tragedy struck, Mr Dobson said: "We'd done our camping trip on the boat and we'd come back and we were all on the bank.
"There were other children playing, there were adults there.
"He (Lucas) just disappeared and never came back up."
Mr Dobson said he and two friends jumped into the water straight away, but the current was so strong a friend had to grab hold of one of the men.
"He was only a metre or so out from the bank, but he found it hard even just to swim back in," he said.
"It could have been more tragic that day."
Holding back the tears, Mr Dobson it is only since the tragedy he'd noticed how few life rings or warning signs there seemed to be in the area, and the family are calling for new safety measures.
"I've seen children feeding ducks at the quayside a couple of feet away from the water," he said.
"One simple slip or trip could end in something like this and we don’t want anyone else to go through it.
"You see how fast the water moves but you don’t realise how powerful it is."
Mr Dobson also praised the "brilliant" emergency services for everything they did to try and help find Lucas alive.
"They were there so fast, within sort of 10 minutes, it was like something out of a movie scene – there were helicopters, the fire brigade, paramedics," he said.
"They were dedicated and caring to help find Lucas."
He also said the family had been touched by the hundreds of people who came to the town to help search for Lucas, many of whom stayed out all night: "Just to come to this small town and look for our precious little boy."
Earlier, a Deal teacher's tear-jerking tribute to Lucas said his school chair won't be left empty, because he will take it to heaven with him.
More by this authorGeoffrey Bew