WATCH: Mourners say goodbye to Sunderland sea tragedy teen Liam Hall at his funeral
Heartwarming tributes have been paid to Sunderland sea death teenager Liam Hall at his funeral.
The trainee mechanic, 17, died in hospital after he was pulled from the water off Roker beach when a trip in a dinghy with friends turned to tragedy on August 30.
Liam, from Southwick, was with girlfriend Courtney Richardson, 18, and friends Jack Hanratty, 17, and Natalie Foster, 21, when they sparked a major search and rescue operation after getting into difficulty.
Best friend Jack and Courtney tried to get him back into the boat, which had been near the Old Pier at Sunderland Yacht Club, but the current dragged him down.
He was later found by volunteers from the RNLI, who had worked alongside police and HM Coastguard on the search.
Liam was then airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, but he could not be saved.
About 80 tearful mourners packed into Sunderland Crematorium for the celebration of Liam’s life.
The hearse containing Liam’s coffin was adorned with a floral tribute which read “Brother”.
After beginning the service accompanied by the Rembrandts’ I’ll Be There For You, celebrant Graeme Flaxen told those attending that Liam was a “kind, adventurous and a lad with a great sense of humour”.
“Every day he will be celebrated and remembered in some way,” said Mr Flaxen.
“A loving son and grandson and a wonderful brother, boyfriend and friend.
“It makes it all the more difficult that he was in the prime of his life.
“But those we love don’t go away. They might be unseen, unheard, but always there.”
You Are My Sunshine, by Johnny Cash, which was often sung to Liam by his mum Sarah, 38, when he was younger, was then played.
Liam attended Sunderland schools Richard Avenue Primary and Sandhill View before beginning his trainee course and in his spare time he enjoyed being around family and playing on his Xbox games console.
“Tributes have poured in from afar for Liam, who is sadly missed by his friends online,” added Mr Flaxen.
“Liam wasn’t a morbid person, and he would not want us to be that way.
“I am amazed at the courage and resilience Liam’s family, his girlfriend and friends have shown at this time.”
A fan of TV shows Friends and The Big Bang Theory, Liam was also big a car enthusiast.
See You Again by Charlie Puth was played before closing music I’m Not Afraid from Liam’s favourite artist, Eminem.
In addition to his mum, he leaves brothers Ryan, 20, and Lewis, 18, and sister Olivia, eight.
He was a much-loved grandson of Neil Hall, 66, and Linda Hall, 61, and was a nephew of Jacqueline Butler, 42, and Gary Hall, 26.
He also leaves uncle James Butler, 40, Jacqueline’s husband, and cousins Nicole, 24, and Jon, 19.
And he also leaves dad Chris Stoker, 44, who is also dad to Liam’s half-sister Amy Stoker, 23, as well as grandparents Ron, 79, and Maureen, 74.
Following the service a collection was made on behalf of the RNLI.