The mother of a seven-year-old boy who died after tumbling off a cliff has offered a tearful tribute to her “wee darling”.
Logan Crawford had been playing with other children at around 7pm on Sunday night in Ballycastle when tragedy struck.
He disappeared off the edge of the steep coastline near a caravan park and a huge search-and-rescue operation was launched, with a Royal Navy helicopter among the many craft sent to look for him.
He was located about one hour later and taken to the Causeway Hospital, but did not survive the ordeal.
Fighting back sobs, his mother Charlieen Crawford said he had “such a cheeky little smile”.
“Everybody loved him. He was a wee darling,” she said.
She said the boy’s five-year-old brother Orion had been with him at the time and came to tell her what had happened.
“They were just messing about, and he tripped and fell. It was a pure accident,” she said.
Tributes including flowers and soft toys were yesterday being left at the spot where it happened. Mrs Crawford said it was the first time he had been up to that clifftop before.
She lives about five minutes from the scene, and understands he had heard about the area from other children.
Describing him, 26-year-old full-time housewife Mrs Crawford, originally from Scotland, said: “He just loved everything about life. He was crazy about going out and playing with his friends. He had friends that were like brothers to him.”
The family are coping “as best as can be expected”, she said, adding that Logan’s brother Orion had become very quiet and was finding the whole experience “very scary”.
The younger one, Leo, was too little to understand.
She added: “Thank you to everybody that has come up to us in the street, and sent messages to us. A big thank you, and we really appreciate it.”
The huge operation to try and recover the youngster was co-ordinated by Ballycastle man Patrick McMullan, 42.
The coastguard officer said at least 30 people were involved in the operation, involving two helicopters, a pair of lifeboats and more.
He said: “I must commend the men themselves. They outdid themselves. They worked exceptionally hard.
“Every job we go out on is difficult at the beginning. You’re trying to find out what happened, and the best way of getting the person recovered and back home. It can be stressful, but you have to do everything in a measured response.”
He knows the family, and said Charlieen and husband Robin are “a very nice young couple”. “It’s a very hard time for them,” he said, but added: “Our local community – we’re always there for each other in times of need.”
Although police said Logan had fallen into the sea, one eyewitness to the rescue said he had been found in a rocky area at the base of the cliffs.
Tributes were left at the scene yesterday, and a special assembly was held at Ballycastle Integrated Primary School where Logan was a pupil.
Principal Diana Evans said: “It was an absolute pleasure knowing Logan and having him in our school. He was a wonderful wee boy with a real zest for life.
He was one of the most well-mannered, polite little boys I have ever taught. Everyone loved him because he was a real character and such a joy to be around.
“We have such fond memories of Logan; he always took great pride in his hair and it brought a smile to my face every day I saw him walking through the dining room doors with his wonderful hairstyle. He was just one of those little boys who holds a special place in your heart.”
He would be “hugely missed” she said, adding: “There is a void which will never be filled.” There are no details of the funeral yet.