‘My girl has been ripped away’: Heartbroken family pay tribute to girl, 15, who died while swimming in St Helens dam

2 June 2023, 18:20

Friends and family have paid tribute to the teenager.
Friends and family have paid tribute to the teenager. Picture: Gofundme

By Jenny Medlicott

The devastated family of a 15-year-old girl who died swimming in a dam on Thursday have shared their emotional tributes to her.

Erin Madden has been described as a “beautiful soul” by friends and family after police confirmed she died in St Helens dam on Thursday afternoon.

Emergency services were called to Carr Mill Dam at around 12.30pm on Thursday, after reports of concerns for safety of the girl who had "got into distress".

The teenager’s mother, Kirsty, said her daughter was “capable of anything” and had her “whole life ahead of her” in a tribute today.

Shared on the St Helens Borough Council Facebook page, she said: ”This dam needs draining my daughter lost her life in there yesterday.

“How many more times does this need to keep happening to children until something is done.

“My girl had her whole life ahead of her she was capable of anything and it’s all been ripped away.

“We are all devastated beyond words and my life will never be the same again. I love you Erin with my heart and soul forever and always.”

Several officers entered the water on Thursday in a bid to help Erin and they were also joined by firefighters, Merseyside Police said.

But the force confirmed yesterday after hours of searching that her body was found in the water.

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Erin died on Thursday after officers were called to reports of concern.
Erin died on Thursday after officers were called to reports of concern. Picture: Gofundme

Read more: Restored pleasure boat at the centre of criminal investigation after death of two teenagers on Bournemouth beach

Read more: Girl, 15, dies after getting into difficulty while swimming in St Helens dam

A fundraiser page has been set up to support Erin’s family following her death.

Toni Ward, who says she is a friend of the family, described the 15-year-old as “a beautiful soul”.

Ms Ward wrote: “My friend and her family lost their beautiful daughter, granddaughter, sister and friend due to a tragic accident that should never have happened.

“She had the rest of her life to look forward to she was a beautiful soul inside and out she be gone but never forgotten.”

St Helens Borough Council also shared a statement following confirmation of her death, as they urged residents to be aware of the "very real dangers of swimming in open water".

St Helens Borough Council made a statement after the girl's death.
St Helens Borough Council made a statement after the girl's death. Picture: Facebook

Chief inspector Paul Holden said following confirmation of Erin's death: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that the body of the teenage girl has been recovered from the water. Our sincere condolences go to her family and friends during this tragic time.

“I would appeal to anyone who was visiting Carr Mill Dam at around midday onwards to please get in touch so we can ascertain what happened and provide her family with answers.

"When the schools return for the summer term our schools officers will work with St Helens Council to ensure that we are able to educate young people about the dangers of water.

"We know how tempting it can be to cool down in the water on a hot summers day, but we want to ensure that young people are equipped with the right knowledge to keep them safe around water."

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