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Family's sorrow as son cremated overseas

PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:36 06 July 2010

It was the last thing the parents of Daniel Reid wanted for their first-born son - to be cremated alone in a foreign land without song or ceremony.

For despite a well-supported public appeal to repatriate his body, Carole and Iain Reid decided to end their month-long funding battle and agree to his cremation in Holland.

It was the last thing the parents of Daniel Reid wanted for their first-born son - to be cremated alone in a foreign land without song or ceremony.

For despite a well-supported public appeal to repatriate his body, Carole and Iain Reid decided to end their month-long funding battle and agree to his cremation in Holland.

The bleak send off, devoid of music, mourners or floral tributes, was carried out at 12.30pm on Monday - two months after the 25-year-old drowned in the summer surf off Yarmouth.

His father Iain Reid said it was the only way out of the long-running saga that had added to the trauma and upset of losing their son on August 6.

“We decided it was the only option. We paid the hospital bill then I think the undertakers in Holland took over. It just would have been too many thousands of pounds to bring him home. It was a pretty terrible sitting at home on Monday knowing what was happening and we are saddened that it came to this. But it was the only practical solution in the end,” he said.

He did not know when the ashes would be returned to the family, but said Daniel would be properly laid to rest in a service attended by friends and family in Hunstanton.

Since launching the appeal to raise money to bring Daniel's body home and for the emergency services that helped comb the waters on the day, Mr Reid has been heartened by the efforts of well-wishers.

But he is angered by the lack of intervention from officials and is committed to raising the profile of the issue so no other parents have to suffer as they have.

Mr Reid said the family decided at the weekend that they could no longer go on in limbo - their situation having become doubly tragic, losing their son and then not being able to afford to bring him home once he had been found.

Mr Reid said he wanted now to focus on the website which gives sea-safety advice and raises money for the emergency services.

“We want to build a better website,” he said. “We want the website to be buzzing. If I can help somebody else in the same situation that is what I want to do.”

He added that there was no pressure from the Dutch authorities to resolve the situation.

Daniel's body was plucked from the sea on August 30 by the Dutch coastguard vessel the Viserand, three weeks after a day on the sands in his home town of Yarmouth ended in tragedy.

Non-swimmer Daniel, from Cobholm, was swept out to sea just yards from the shore despite frantic efforts to save him. The family's plight has touched communities on both sides of the North Sea and has been taken up by Dutch newspapers.

Daniel was born in Hunstanton and had lived in Norwich and Yarmouth. The eldest of 10 children he was described by his mother as having a “heart of gold.”

Visit the appeal website at www.safety-on-sea.co.uk.

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