Published: 07:47, 03 September 2019
| Updated: 07:54, 03 September 2019
The funeral for tragic Lucas Dobson, who died after falling into the River Stour, will take place next week on what would have been his seventh birthday.
The body of the six year old was found on Wednesday, August 21 after an extensive search and rescue operation involving the emergency services and hundreds of volunteers.
He had fallen into the water five days earlier during a fishing trip with his family in Sandwich.
Now, his father Nathan Dobson, has revealed his funeral will date place next week - on what would have been Lucas' birthday.
Mr Dobson said the service "is for everyone and anyone that would like to come to pay last respects to the little boy that brought so many people and so much love together".
He said: "Friday the 13th is his birthday and the day we lay him to rest.
"Unlucky for no one on this day."
Posting his message to the 'In Loving Memory of Lucas' Facebook page, Mr Dobson requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to a campaign raising awareness of river safety.
He also thanked everyone for their kindness and support.
Mr Dobson's message continued: "There are so many flowers around and 99% of them will end up in the bin.
"Rather than spend more money on something to be thrown away and go to waste we are raising money for the awareness campaign to improve river safety and also giving donations to all the unpaid emergency services that were involved in searching for our amazing little boy.
"If you would like to donate you can either get in touch with me or Lucas’s mum Kirsty Furze or if you would prefer to donate straight to the charities yourself, we will put up all information about that in the next few days.
"I just want to say thank you for everyone’s love, kindness and support.
"Just because we are laying him to rest it’s not goodbye from us or over in anyway..." - Nathan Dobson
"Just because we are laying him to rest it's not goodbye from us or over in anyway.
"You will see all progress and what is put in place for the river and safety awareness for a long time after.
"Thank you from the bottom of mine and Kirsty’s hearts we love you all and are so grateful our little boy can make such an impact and difference to the world."
The funeral will take place at 12.30pm at St. George’s Church, Deal on Friday, September 13.
Lucas, of Deal, had accidentally fallen into the River Stour on Saturday, August 17.
He was trying to step from a jetty to a boat and landed in the water.
Three men, including his father, dived in to rescue him but the strong current pulled the boy out of reach.
After Lucas was reported missing, hundreds of local people joined emergency services in a five-day search.
Helicopters, drones, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, an underwater rescue unit, and a search dog were all part of the effort to find Lucas.
Candlelit vigils were held in several coastal and inland towns and villages on Monday evening as efforts to find him continued.
On Wednesday, August 21, a body was found close to where Lucas fell and the body was formally identified by his father.
At an inquest opening, held yesterday, it was revealed Lucas died from immersion.
The inquest, at Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone, was adjourned until November 12.