May 13 2012
A "really lovely" father and son who died when their rowing boat overturned at a weir on the River Avon have been mourned by their local community.
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 on Saturday after Freddie was pulled from the water at about 8.30pm 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 onboard the boat, and said they were thinking of them and their two other children, Florence and Archie.
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 last night 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.