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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 August 2005, 22:45 GMT 23:45 UK
Parents' tribute to drowned sons
James (L) and Matthew Hole
James (L) and Matthew Hole were swept away by a freak current
The parents of two brothers drowned off the north Wales coast have said they do not know how they will cope with losing their "wonderful" sons.

James Hole, 16, and brother Matthew, 14, from Hagley, Worcestershire, got into difficulties at Llandanwg beach, near Harlech, on Thursday.

Parents Kevin and Sue Hole said James was "a very thoughtful child", while Matthew was "bubbly" and "well-liked".

The support of their family would enable them to cope, they added.

James was washed up on to the beach 25 minutes after being dragged under the water, but died in hospital in Bangor at 2330 BST on Friday.

Rescue operation

His brother's body was found on the beach at 1950 BST on Friday after a land, sea, and air rescue operation lasting almost 24 hours.

The family - which also includes sons Simon, 19, Stephen, 18, Benjamin, eight, and four-year-old Daniel - had been on holiday in the nearby village of Penrhyndeudraeth.

"We have always spoken to the boys about safety," said Mr Hole, 46.

Kevin and Sue Hole
You can't wrap your children up in cotton wool. They are at a responsible age and becoming independent
Kevin Hole
He said: "Whilst in the water Matthew commented to his other brothers that we shouldn't go too deep to keep out of trouble.

"But you can't wrap your children up in cotton wool. They are at a responsible age and becoming independent."

He added: "Matthew was an active lad. He was very bubbly and the sort of character who made friends quite easily. He was well liked.

"He was a bright lad and had good potential in that sense. He was always on the go."

Mrs Hole, 47, said James had been the "gentle giant of the family".

"He was a quieter child, and in that sense he was a very thoughtful child," she said.

Family support

Mr Hole added: "Until we get back into our own home and start to do those things we do for the first time as a six, we will really not know how we will cope.

"But we will, with the support of our close extended family."

Simon earlier described what happened shortly after he and his two brothers went into the water on Thursday evening.

Picture of Simon Hole

He said: "Matthew was shouting, 'I'm in trouble, I'm in trouble.' From either side me and James tried to get to him. But then I just managed to get out with the strong current.

"As I tried to get out, James got into trouble. Ten seconds later and I could not see either of them.

"I tried to get to them but I got into trouble myself. I managed to get a good footing but when I looked back I could see neither of their heads."

Mrs Hole said: "Simon did what he could and we are thankful he did the sensible thing and not endanger his own life. To lose two children is bad enough."

Coastguards in north Wales said conditions at the beach had not been particularly dangerous at the time of the accident, but warned people to take care while swimming in the sea.

Rob Cramp, of Holyhead Coastguard, said: "All we ask is that people, when they come to the beach, look at the conditions and just take simple precautions."

Sea search for missing teenager
26 Aug 05 |  North West Wales

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