A 16-YEAR-OLD died in a ‘tragic’ accident while on holiday to celebrate completing his GCSEs, an inquest has heard.
Kieran Knight, of Fairfield Crescent, Newhall, was in south west France with his family after finishing his exams at Newhall’s William Allitt School at the time of his death.
He and father Kevin were in the sea off the coast of Messanges when Kieran was caught by a strong current.
A statement by Mr Knight, which was read out at Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner’s Court, told how the tragedy unfolded.
It said: “We arrived at the campsite on at around 7pm on June 23.
“On July 24, myself and Kieran left to go swimming on an unsupervised beach while my wife and daughter stayed on the shore.
“We were up to our waists and had one body board between the two of us.
“Behind us there were big waves.
“I suggested that we go in and we were about five metres away from beach.
“I started to make my way in and when I turned round I couldn’t see Kieran.
“I ran to get my glasses, leaving the body board next to the water.
“I came back but still could not see Kieran. At this point my wife Dawn was calling the emergency services.”
A massive search and rescue operation was undertaken to try to locate Kieran, but his body was eventually discovered three days later.
At the inquest into his death, assistant coroner Paul McCandless recorded the cause of death as ‘immersion’.
Speaking immediately after his death, Mr Knight warned others of the dangers of swimming in the ocean.
Mr McCandless concluded that Kieran had died due to an accident.
He said: “This was a tragic death involving a particularly young man.
“I don’t doubt that he would have had a very full life.
“This was the most tragic of accidents, to which I can only offer my most sincere condolences.”
The youngster was preparing to start studying at Burton and South Derbyshire College, and planned to become a teacher.
He was also a leader of the Sunday school at Emmanuel Church in Swadlincote, where he had been a worshipper his entire life.
He is survived by sister Tara and brother Aidan.