Father and Toddler Die in the River Avon

A man and a child have been found dead in the River Avon in Warwickshire after the rowing boat they were in capsized.

Family and friends have paid tribute to a ''really lovely'' father and son who died when their rowing boat overturned at a weir on the River Avon.

The father, named locally as Julian Mynott, 42, was enjoying an afternoon row with his three-year-old son Freddie and two other children when tragedy struck.

It is thought their small motorised boat went over a three-metre high weir and capsized in the river close to the family home in Barford, near Warwick.

Both father and son were pronounced dead at the scene after Freddie was pulled from the water at about 8.30pm on Saturday and Mr Mynott was found shortly after 10pm.

The two other children are being treated in hospital and one is said to be in a serious but stable condition.

Neighbours and friends spoke warmly of Mr Mynott and his wife Emma, 41, who was not on board the boat, and said they were thinking of them and their two other children, Florence and Archie.

Mr Mynott's sister Stephanie Skudder described him as the ''best father, husband, son and brother''.

Polly Bonner-Evans, who lives close to the family, said: ``They were just really lovely people. The family were so kind, so nice, pleasant.''
She said she was struggling to come to terms with what had happened and she could only imagine what ``kind'' Mrs Mynott was going through.

''My heart goes out to them,'' she said...I wish we could just scoop them up and wrap them in our arms and do whatever we could. I don't know how as a mother ... I don't know how you cope with that.''

Freddie had only just turned three, Ms Bonner-Evans said, and a party been held for him at the family home, which his parents had bought around a year ago.

The family only moved into their home in Barford in February after carrying out restoration work.

Ms Bonner-Evans said she saw firefighters at the scene in floods of tears as they battled tirelessly to save Mr Mynott and the children.

A local man jumped in the river to try to help but he had been so traumatised by the incident he did not want to talk publicly about it, she said.

It seems Mr Mynott, an antiques dealer, and the children decided to go out on the river on the warm and sunny afternoon but were perhaps caught out by how high the river was and how fast the current was running.

Locals said they appeared to be making their way back home after their trip when the current pulled the boat.

People living close to the scene of the accident tried to take their own boats onto the river to help but were forced back by the strength of the current, Ms Bonner-Evans said.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said emergency services were first called around 5.35pm and two children were pulled from the water prior to the arrival of the ambulance service.

One of the youngsters is in a serious but stable condition in Birmingham Children's Hospital, Warwickshire Police said.
The second child is being treated at Warwick Hospital and is described as conscious but poorly.

Police officers from the scientific investigation unit could be seen working along the river today, but otherwise there was little evidence of the terrible events that had occurred.

A steady stream of locals arrived at the village bridge that runs over the river to leave cards and floral tributes.

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