Tributes have poured in for a teenager with a “huge smile” and “beautiful from the inside out” who tragically died while swimming in a lake.
Jay Moffett, 13, died after getting into difficulty into water at a lake in the County Down village of Scarva, Northern Ireland.
His father desperately tried saving his son as firefighters arrived but he sadly later passed away in hospital, Belfast Live reports.
Beloved son of Wayne and Caroline Moffett and brother to Ollie and Daisy, Jay’s passing has caused an outpouring of grief in the community who are shocked and saddened at the loss of someone so young.
His grandparents are Tom and Hilary Greer, who run the Park Inn pub in the village, which has been closed until further notice due to the tragedy.
A talented young boxer, his former club Tullyish Amateur Boxing Club said in a statement: “Tullylish ABC are deeply saddened following the tragic and untimely passing of our much loved club member Jay Moffett.
“All of us at the club pass on our sincerest condolences to Wayne, Caroline, Ollie and Daisy. Rest easy Jay, we will all miss that big smile.”
Local football club Scarva Rangers FC also expressed its condolences to the teenager’s family.
It said: “The club is devastated with the news of the loss of the young life in our village yesterday.
“Our thoughts are with the entire family circle at this difficult time.
“Safe in the arms of Jesus.”
Since the news of his passing, many have paid tribute on social media to the “beautiful boy” with a “huge smile”.
One person said: “Heartbroken for you all. Thinking of you, he was such a lovely lad.”
Another said: “Beautiful boy from the inside out, anyone who knew Jay would know he always had a smile on his face to anyone he met!
“Please do remember this family in your thoughts and prayers as they come to terms with this tragedy.”
Reverend Rodney Magennis from Loughbrickland, Donaghmore and Scarva Church of Ireland, which is based in the heart of the village said that it would be open for anyone who would like to sit in quiet contemplation and mourn Jay.
He said: “It is with profound sadness that we were told of the death of Jay in such tragic circumstances yesterday evening.
“It is something that has caused deep sadness within the village of Scarva and people are in shock.
“As a worshipping community based in St Matthew’s Church and on behalf of the whole village, I offer to his family and friends my deepest and sincere sympathy at what is a very difficult time.
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“May God be their guiding light in this dark world that they are travelling in at the moment.
“St. Matthew’s Church is open today (Tuesday) from 3pm until 6pm for anyone who wants to come and be still in the presence of God, just to sit in quiet contemplation and to uphold the family in prayer.”
DUP Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart said: “Absolutely devastating news to hear of another family plunged into sorrow after the death of a young teenage boy at the Canal Court area of Scarva village.
“Please remember the family in your prayers as they come to terms with this harrowing tragedy. To the emergency services and anyone else who assisted, thank you.”