A devastated mum has revealed the tragic last words she said to her daughter before she was swept away by a river were: “Be safe."
Schoolgirl Nicola Williams has been enjoying what she could of the summer holidays this year when disaster struck.
The loving big sister, known as Nikki, had taken her younger brother, AJ, out for the day on August 21 to enjoy the end of term break.
But tragedy struck when Nikki got into trouble playing in the River Rhymney in Cardiff, Wales.
Rescuers battled to save the teenager for over an hour before the strong current swept her way.
Ahead of what would have been Nikki’s 16 birthday this week, her grieving family have spoken out to share her legacy.
Mum Emma Carter has bravely relived the harrowing day whilst speaking to Wales Online.
Emma, 42, who has tattooed tribute to Nikki on her left arm, said: “She was playing with her brother and her friend. They told me they were going to the lakes, I didn’t even know they had gone to the river.
"It was her friend who rung me at five to five that night and she said 'Nikki’s in the river, we can’t find her'.
"We had to go down there as quickly as we could, when I was stood on the bridge I still had the kids on the end of the phone because we had to locate where they were.
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"My partner had run past and grabbed my phone, he found the kids and dived in to try and find Nik and he couldn’t find her.
"I’m the one that made the call to the emergency services when I finally could.
"(The weather) was a bit iffy, it was Storm Ellen at the time. I said to Nik I really don't think you should go but she said mum 'don't be silly, we'll be fine’.”
The mourning mother revealed the harrowing last words that she said to her daughter before she left.
Emma said: “The last thing I said to her was be safe and then she never came home."
Tributes poured in for Nikki following the tragedy in August.
The second youngest of five siblings, her older sister Emily said she was "funny, sassy, beautiful Nikki", someone with a heart of gold and loved by many.
Nikki’s family are planning to mark her 16th birthday hosting a vigil and a balloon release.
Her mum said: “With the help of everyone else we’ll make sure her memory stays alive.”
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