MORE than 50 relatives and friends of Callum Baker-Osborne have presented a check to the RNLI team in Poole as a thank you for their efforts in trying to find him.
The family of the 18-year-old, who drowned at Rockley Point in July last year while rescuing his niece Aurora, handed over a check for almost £5,000 on Saturday.
Callum’s sister Samantha described returning to Poole from their Coventry home as a “bittersweet” experience, as there was a feeling of “comfort” but “still so much anger”.
She told the Daily Echo: ‘We were at the beach on Friday and everyone was getting excited. I put on a song called The Gambler and we all forced a smile.
“When we play this song, we instantly remember Callum because he used to sing and dance to it.
“We’ve all made a pact that when this song comes out, we’ll all have to smile. It doesn’t matter if we’re in the middle of a breakdown, we have to smile. Callum wouldn’t want us to be sad.
Callum’s twin brother Ryan said on Friday the family remembered and celebrated Callum by going to the beach and playing rugby – “his sport”.
Ryan said: “We spent the day making new memories for him. None of us have been in the water since it happened, but we got in and had a little laugh and played some rugby.
“Callum’s spirit is still here in Poole, even though we buried him at his home in Coventry.”
Poole Deputy Mayor Cllr Julie Bagwell, who was the lifesaving station muster, said the family was ‘amazing’ and that Callum ‘means a lot to Turlin Moor, Hamworthy and Poole’.
Samantha paid tribute to the RLNI after handing over the check for £4,732.08. She described the team as “selfless heroes”.
She added: “They don’t do it as a job, they do it because they care. We felt it throughout; there was so much love and we became like family.
“We have raised as much as we can for them, and fundraising for the RNLI will be an annual event for us. They are selfless heroes, every one of them.
Read more: Callum Baker-Osborne: Tributes paid to teenager who died in Poole
Poole RNLI volunteer Anne-Marie Clark said: ‘The lasting impact of Callum, our promise to him, will be that we will continue to raise awareness of the dangers of water, continue to share the safety messages keys and educate everyone we meet, we will share his story.
“I would like to say a very humble thank you to everyone who helped fundraise on ‘Callum Day’ in Coventry and for the incredible amount raised.
“The money will be used to help us help others. We are so grateful for the support and what a fitting tribute to Callum, his family and friends have come together to celebrate the life of a brave hero.