The family of a ‘Star Wars mad’ 11-year-old boy who drowned at a swimming lagoon in France the day after visiting Disneyland have spoken about their heartbreak.
Jake Taylor, from Gipsyville, Hull, died in hospital after going missing at the man-made beach and pool at La Croix Du Vieux Pont campsite, about 60 miles outside Paris, which was packed with hundreds of tourists and inflatables.
He was on holiday with his parents, Hannah and Lance, and three brothers, Connor, 13, George, nine, Dexter, four and Arry, one, along with four other families from Hull.
His loving mother has paid tribute to her son saying he was ‘always smiling’ and ‘never did anything wrong’ while his father said they had a ‘special bond’.
It was their first family holiday abroad since 2013 when they had flown to Australia for his parents’ wedding.
‘Star Wars mad’ Jake Taylor, 11, drowned at a swimming lagoon in France the day after a family trip to Disneyland Paris. His parents, Hannah and Lance, have spoken of their heartbreak
He went missing at the man-made beach and pool at La Croix Du Vieux Pont campsite, about 60 miles outside Paris, on Thursday August 22 after playing with his older brother. (Pictured: Jake (right) wit his family at Disneyland Paris the day before he died)
The Year Six Eastfield Primary School pupil was swimming with his older brother before he disappeared on Thursday August 22.
His parents frantically searched for him and told the lifeguard that they needed help before a Dutch couple pulled Jake’s body from the water.
Three British doctors who were on the beach at the time performed CPR until paramedics arrived, and Jake was airlifted to hospital.
His death is being investigated by the French Gendarmerie (police) who have since drained the lagoon to check its safety.
Jake’s heartbroken mother Hannah, a retail assistant, clutched Jake’s hat from Disneyland as she said her son was ‘always happy, always smiling’.
‘He was the most loving person you would meet in your life, you could talk to him and he would melt you,’ she said.
‘He was always happy, always smiling. His manners were impeccable. He was so caring and considerate. You could never tell Jake off because he never did anything wrong.
Jake’s heartbroken mother Hannah, a retail assistant, fought back tears as she paid tribute to her son and said he was ‘always happy, always smiling’. Speaking about how the family was coping, she said: ‘I’ll never take a family photo again, I don’t want to go on trips in the car because I’ve got an empty seat’
Jake’s parents frantically searched for him at the swimming lagoon (pictured) and asked a lifeguard for help before a Dutch couple pulled him from the water
‘Jake was just Jake, he was so unique. All my boys are different in their own ways, but you won’t ever come across another Jake. He was one of a kind.
‘He was a hugger too. He would hug every person who walked in the door.’
Talking further about his character, his mother said that he was ‘Star Wars mad’ and that he ‘couldn’t wait’ to start at Sirius Academy in September.
‘When we went to Disney he was really quiet waiting for the illuminations and as soon as Star Wars came on the castle, his face lit up. He just loved it,’ she said.
‘He wasn’t an adrenaline junkie though. He didn’t go on any big rides, he knew his limits. He was sensible, he wasn’t daft.
‘He just had a funny side about him. He was a young, sweet and innocent 11 year old.
Three British doctors gave him CPR at the pool before he was airlifted to hospital. French police, who have since drained the lagoon to check its safety, are investigating
The camping site is located around 60 miles north east of Paris and around an hour’s drive from the capital’s Disneyland resort
‘He loved school. He was a bit behind because he didn’t start talking until he was five, but he was catching up and his teachers had done so much for him’.
‘On his last day he didn’t want his shirt signing so they all signed a big board and when he came out he said ‘mum, I’m just so overwhelmed with this’.
‘He couldn’t wait to go to Sirius. Every day from leaving Eastfield it was, ‘when do I start Sirius? When do I get my uniform? When do I get my shoes?’
‘That was the only thing I’d not got, I’d not got his shoes. His uniform is all ready.’
Asked how their family will cope now, Hannah, fighting back the tears, said: ‘I’ll never take a family photo again, I don’t want to go on trips in the car because I’ve got an empty seat.
‘There will forever be a space and I can’t fill it because it’s empty. I don’t know what to do without him, I feel like he will come through the door and just say that he loves me.
‘We just always did things as a family. We never had holidays without the kids, we aren’t drinkers – we did that years ago, our life is our family, our boys are our world, we live for our kids.’
His devoted father Lance, 39, a window cleaner, said he and his son shared a special bond.
‘He was a daddy’s boy. He was the most loving boy ever, he told us he loved us every day, he said ‘Love you mum, love you dad and we would say love you Jake.’
‘He was beautiful, inside and out. The day he left Eastfield, every teacher cried, he touched every one of them.
‘He had the longest eyelashes, he was going to be a heartbreaker.
‘He loved cricket too. He was also the best computer gamer, he was fantastic, he put a lot of people to shame.
‘And that boy could eat about 20 bags of crisps in about 20 minutes and lived off cheese pizza. He was such a special little boy.’
Humberside Police have confirmed they are supporting Jake’s family and are liaising with the Foreign Commonwealth Office, however they do not have involvement in the investigation into Jake’s death.
Witnesses are asked to contact the the Gendarmerie in Vic-sur-Aisne. They can be emailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Go-fund me page has been set up by a family friend to help Jake’s family, which has so far raised more than £4,500 of the £5,000 target.
Parents say their children got into danger in pool at same camp
An ex-guest at La Croix du Vieux Pont said that the depth of the pool was not properly signposted and the park failed to take concerns into account.
Jan, a 45-year-old nurse from Durham told MailOnline: ‘We went in July  there were no markers or life guard[s] at the time.’
‘I emailed the park but as you can see from [their] response they weren’t overly concerned.’
She said that her youngest boy, ‘started shouting [that] he couldn’t put his feet down & started to hang on to the older one, dragging her down.
‘So [my] husband ran in to get them and thankfully got to them in time but, my husband who’s 5ft 10in said he couldn’t stand on the bottom,’ she added.
‘It’s not really needed & definitely doesn’t need to be so deep.’