Mother whose son drowned aged 15 21 years ago says the tragedy of frozen Lake Solihull brought everything back.
A mother whose 15-year-old son drowned 21 years ago has revealed how the tragedy at Solihull’s frozen lake – which left four boys dead – brought her child’s death “everything back”.
Julie Amiss’ son Frazer drowned in Powell’s Pool in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield on July 29, 2001 after his cousin tried desperately to save him.
When Ms Amiss heard of the tragedy at Babbs Mill Lake in Kingsurst last Sunday, when three boys aged eight, 10 and 11 died and a six-year-old was fighting for his life, Ms Amiss said she felt “sick”.
The tragedy happened in Solihull Park when the four boys fell into freezing water just before 3pm on Sunday 11 December.
Julie Amiss, whose 15-year-old son Frazer Amiss (pictured) drowned in Powell’s Pool in Sutton Park 21 years ago, said the tragedy of frozen Lake Solihull brought her child’s death “everything back”.
They were rescued from the lake by emergency services and treated by paramedics, but are believed to have suffered cardiac arrest.
All four died as a result of the incident. Three were from the same family – brothers Finlay Butler, eight, Samuel Butler, six, and their cousin Thomas Stewart, 11. The trio had reportedly left to feed the ducks when the ice gave way.
The fourth boy, Jack Johnson, was 10 years old. His aunt said on Facebook that he “ran and tried to save the other three children” who fell.
Six-year-old Sam was fighting for his life but died in hospital on Wednesday December 14.
Ms Amiss, 55, said the boys’ deaths affected her deeply after the loss of her son in 2001.
The mother, who has two other children, one shortly after Frazer’s death and a daughter who was 12 at the time of the tragedy, said: “I heard about it on Monday morning. I just felt sick.
Police attended the scene at Babbs Mill Lake in Kingshurst, Solihull, where four boys died after falling into icy water on December 11
“Just the extent to which children were involved. It’s so shocking. It’s heartbreaking.
“It brings everything back. My daughter called me. She was 12.5 years old when Frazer died and is now in her 30s.”
She added: “That brings it back for anyone who experiences that kind of loss, especially a child in that way. You walk out the door. You think you’ll see them and they won’t come back.
“You think of so many things. What could you have done and said? My son was also a reasonable swimmer. That was the hottest day this year. But it is to understand how cool the water can be.
“And on a Sunday night when the water is so cold you’d think you’d have little time to get to them.”
Ten-year-old Jack Johnson was among the boys who lost their lives in the Solihull tragedy. His aunt said he “ran and tried to save three other children, ages six, eight and 11,” who had been on the frozen lake when the ice broke
The Amiss family at the time lived in the Boldmere area of Sutton, near Powell’s Pool at the Boldmere Gate entrance to the park. Frazer went to the park with his cousin, who Ms Amiss said was desperately trying to save him in the water.
“My children went to a school in the area and Frazer had left school in July of that year. His birthday was August 29, just a few weeks away,” she said.
“It happened on July 29th, the hottest day of the year, in the early evening. We had a call and got into the park where there were a lot of people, ambulances, the police helicopter.
‘But the West Midlands Police divers have been disbanded. There was no one around to rescue or do anything.
“At the time, the police and fire brigade were instructed not to go into the water. They have been instructed not to risk anything for health and safety reasons. The rescue workers from Nottingham arrived quite late.
‘It was eight or eight-thirty and they had a little something to do. But then I decided to sleep on the lake shore until daybreak. My son’s cousin, my nephew, was with him that day. He tried to help him, but he couldn’t hold him.’
Ms Amiss, who now lives in Warwickshire but works in Erdington, close to where she used to live, added: “We are close family. We all have our haunting and have to live with it every summer when [similar] Things happen.
Mourners have contributed to the tributes for the four boys who lost their lives in the tragedy on the frozen lake in Solihull
“It brings everything back. We think: “How can you make things better? How can we prevent this from happening to children and really educate them?”
“I’m 55 now and when I went to school there were certainly school rides. They don’t seem to be doing that now.’
When asked what she could say to the families affected by the Babbs Mill Lake tragedy, Ms Amiss said: “There are simply no words you can say. There’s nothing people can say that would make me feel better. It’s just heartbreaking news. My heart goes out to her. I just can’t imagine what they must be going through.’
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11551409/solihull.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Mother whose son drowned aged 15 21 years ago says the tragedy of frozen Lake Solihull brought everything back.