Memorial a year on for tragic teen
ONE year ago the whole of Llanelli was rocked by the tragic death of teenager Jamie Phillips.
Friends were devastated by the loss of the popular 17-year-old from Dafen, and those who did not know him shared their sympathy for his family.
Jamie's mum Janet had her whole world turned upside down when his body was pulled from North Dock last September following a heart- wrenching five-hour search.
On Monday — a year to the day since Jamie's death — his three elder siblings, Joanna, Jodie and Andrew, joined Janet at a special memorial at the dock, putting up a banner and laying flowers to mark the anniversary.
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Janet, 53, said she had been touched by the town's support throughout the past year.
"I still don't want to accept it," she said. "On Monday we had a lovely day. We had 17 balloons for his 17 years. Everybody who was there were people that were really close to Jamie.
"We had a chat with all the youngsters. I knew his friends, I knew their mothers.
"We all wrote a message with felt pens on all the balloons and we let them off together."
Jamie had been drinking with friends throughout the night at a nearby flat before deciding to go for a swim on the morning of September 3.
A passer-by raised the alarm after seeing the former Bryngwyn pupil struggling in the water, sparking a huge emergency services operation to find him.
Janet said Monday had brought back vivid memories of last year's tragedy.
"One of the girls that sang at the memorial service last year sang that song again," she said.
"Everyone was in tears listening to the song because it brings back all the memories.
"I'm really glad we went down there. We went for food as a family and we had a reminisce.
"Jodie's children were very upset. They were really tearful.
"I was trying to explain to them it's all part of the grieving process — don't be afraid to cry.
"They are so like Jamie. I said to the boy 'you're like my little Jamie'. He's got some of his ways."