'Lovely' teen who died in river tragedy 'meant everything' to his devastated family

Kane Edwards, 13, died after entering the River Tawe
-Credit: (Image: South Wales Police)

The family of a "happy, lively and sporty" 13-year-old boy who died after getting into difficulty in a river have pledged to keep his memory alive. Kane Edwards tragically died in May 2022 after going swimming with friends in Swansea’s River Tawe after school.

After getting into difficulty and being dragged under the flowing water, Kane’s friends did what they could to try and find him. It wasn’t until an hour later, after an extensive search by the emergency services, that he was found. Devastatingly there was nothing that could be done to save him.

Now, two years on, his two cousins Ffion and Ieuan McCormick-Edwards - aged 25 and 23 respectively - are doing what they can to honour Kane’s memory. Speaking to WalesOnline, Ffion said the pair will run the Ogi Porthcawl 10k on Sunday, July 7, and will hold Kane in their hearts as they cross the finish line.

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Paying tribute to Kane, the youngest of three brothers, she said: “He was very sporty, very lively and really close to his mother and family. He wasn’t really naughty and mischievous but he also wasn’t a quiet boy.

"He was generally a really nice, easy going and lovely boy. He would talk to anyone. He meant everything to his family, especially his brothers. He was so full of life he was the entertainment of the family.”

Ffion at the beach smiling
Ffion is passionate about remembering her younger cousin -Credit:Ffion McCormick-Edwards

Ffion, from Skewen, said she is so passionate about keeping Kane’s memory alive because the family has taken comfort in talking about him as part of their grieving process. She said: “It’s been very tough.

"When someone dies some families will find it really hard to talk about and try to move past it, whereas we’ve found being able to talk about it together and keeping his memory alive has made it easier for us all.” For the latest Swansea news, sign up to our newsletter here

Although Ffion has enjoyed running on and off throughout her life, she said she fell back in love with the activity in November. She said she saw a perfect opportunity to remember Kane through running, before her brother Ieuan also got on board and signed up to the Run4Wales event.

Kane in sports gear
Kane loved sport, especially rugby -Credit:Ffion McCormick-Edwards

She said the pair often train together and use the time to remember Kane. On this occasion Ffion said she will not be raising money for a charity and instead purely wants to use the day to bring the family together to remember Kane.

She said: “I didn’t want to put pressure on myself to do a charity run yet because it’s my first event and I’ve only run 7k so far, keeping 10k for the event. I wanted to do it as a family thing, getting everyone there cheering on. It’s going to be a tribute run more than anything else.”

Ffion and ieuan training
Ffion with her brother Ieuan who is also taking part -Credit:Ffion McCormick-Edwards

During the run, Ffion said she and Ieuan will wear red t-shirts with Kane’s name printed on them. She said red was a colour that meant a lot to rugby-mad Kane.

She said: “Rugby was his main sport. He would train three to four times a week. Morriston’s team wear red and black, and Kane was a huge Wales rugby supporter so he was drawn to red.” Ffion said she expects the day to be emotional for all the family, but that she feels very motivated by the cause.

Ffion training
Ffion is motivated by bringing her family together -Credit:Ffion McCormick-Edwards

She said: “I think it’s going to be quite an emotional day, I’m going to feel a bit of everything. More than anything it will be really great and motivational. If I can do this, it makes me wonder what I can do next to keep his memory alive.

“My main motivation is for my auntie as it has been really difficult for her. We just want to get across that even though we’re not living in each other’s pockets every day as a family, we are always here to remember Kane. I want to show her how amazing she has been through everything and how well she has kept the family together.”