‘Totally devastated’ - Barford father speaks out following fatal boat tragedy
THE grief-stricken father who lost his son and three-year-old grandson in a boat accident in Barford on Saturday has spoken of his loss.
Julian Mynott, 42, drowned while trying to save toddler Freddie after their boat capsized in a swollen River Avon.
The two of them had been flung out of their fibreglass rowing boat as it went over a 10ft weir just yards from their riverside home.
They were swept away by the powerful current just shortly after taking the brand new boat out for the first time.
Today it has emerged that Mr Mynott, an antiques dealer, had bought the boat as a treat for his family just days before the tragedy.
His two other children Archie, seven, and six-year-old daughter Florence - who were also in the boat - were rescued, but remain in hospital.
His devastated father Roger Mynott, 69, said he had spoken to his son just hours before his death.
Speaking from his home in Thailand, My Mynott said: “I spoke to him on Saturday afternoon and he told me he was going out on the boat with his kids.
“He was so happy and so excited that he was taking his kids boating, it was his dream to go boating on the river.
“I never worried about the children because I knew Julian was a safety freak and he would have made sure his kids wore life jackets.
“I’m still struggling to come to terms with it. He was the best father you could have - he just idolised his children and did everything for them.”
Describing his son as a “loving father”, Mr Mynott said: “You can’t imagine how he was. He never let those children five yards from his sight.
“He bought a boat because he thought the kids would love to go out on the river.
“They all had safety belts on. It was a little pleasure trip, a few laps down the river and back - and it all resulted in a terrible accident.
“He spent whatever life he had left in himself trying to rescue those children.”
Julian Mynott had moved to the family’s £660,000 dream house, which backed onto the River Avon, with wife Emma, 41, just three months ago.
His father ran Apollo Antiques in Warwick before passing it to his son, who renamed the business Julian Mynott Antiques. He said: “He was so happy when he moved into the new house.
“He was a very, very wonderful father an loving husband.
“He was loving and caring, he was overprotective, I couldn’t believe it when I used to go and stay with them, I couldn’t believe how protective he was of them.
“What’s happened is the worst possible thing.
“You can’t imagine how tragic it must have been for him to see his children in danger.
“I have spoken to the family and they told me he did everything he could he could to save them. It must have been the worst possible demise.”
He added: “I’m still in severe shock. I’m flying home this week to be with the family.
“He spent 18 months building his new house and finishing it.
“He was a very, very wonderful person and a successful antiques dealer, nobody will have a word to say against him.
“If it had been a car crash, it would have been something I could have come to terms with a lot better.
“This is the worst possible scenario - him trying to save his children.”
My Mynott said that when his wife died ten years ago from a stroke, he did not feel like continuing in the antiques business, so he handed it over to his son, who “made a wonderful success of it”.
He said: “I’m devastated, totally, totally devastated.
“He was the most wonderful person on the planet, I don’t know how I’m going to come to terms with this.”
A huge rescue mission, involving polive divers and powerful spotlights was launched after the accident at 5.30pmm on Saturday.
The bodies of Julian and Freddie were recovered from the river six hours later.
Florence suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed to Birmingham’s Children Hospital while Archie was taken to Warwick Hospital.
See Friday’s Courier for further reports on the tragedy.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Leamington
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North