Child saved from drowning in pool

January 05, 2018

Crime Stoppers Victoria chief executive Sam Hunter (front) launches the cross-border Dob in a Dealer campaign with (back from left) Senior Sergeant Mick Logan of Cobram, Senior Sergeant Dave Bowler of Kerang police, Swan Hill police Inspector Dan Davison, Detective Sergeant Trent Swinton of Deniliquin police, Wangaratta police Inspector David Ryan, Senior Sergeant Mick Carroll of Echuca police, Deniliquin police Superintendent Paul Condon and Campaspe police acting Inspector Troy Hargadon. JL  

A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl is lucky to be alive after almost drowning in a swimming pool at a Moama holiday park on Tuesday.

And a Melbourne couple can be credited for saving the life of the Carrum Downs girl.

‘‘I am just so thankful the little girl pulled through. She had stopped breathing, I really thought she was gone,’’ Junelle Houston said.

Junelle, her husband James and their teenage children had gone to the pool at the Deniliquin St tourist park about 12.30pm.

‘‘We had been there for about five minutes when a lady came up to my husband and said ‘I think there’s a girl at the bottom of the pool’,’’ Junelle said.

‘‘My husband dived down and pulled her out of the water. She was unconscious and not breathing so my husband gave her two deep breaths. I am trained in CPR so I ran over and commenced resuscitation.

‘‘It took two rounds for her to come back.

‘‘When she regained consciousness, her face was in shock. Then she started screaming for her mum. I can’t get that vision out of my head.’’

Mrs Houston said she believed the mother, who had taken her children to the park for the day, had gone to get something from the car when the incident occurred.

‘‘She was hysterical. She was shaking and screaming her name,’’ she said.

‘‘She thanked me after it all.’’

Paramedics and police were called to Maiden’s Inn Holiday Park at 12.40pm and the girl was taken by ambulance to Echuca hospital in a stable condition for observation.

Emergency department unit manager Craig Frew said on arrival, the girl was conscious, pale and lethargic.

‘‘She was in emergency for several hours and then admitted to the hospital for observation overnight. She was discharged home at lunchtime the following day,’’ he said.

Speaking to the Riv yesterday, Mrs Houston said she believed the little girl was home and doing okay.

‘‘From what I heard, she was playing who can hold their breath underwater the longest with some other kids in the pool,’’ she said.

And despite their life-saving rescue efforts, Mrs Houston doesn’t consider herself and her husband heroes.

‘‘It’s just something we’d do in the blink of an eye,’’ she said.

If anything was to come out of the near drowning, Mrs Houston said she hoped a lifeguard would be appointed at the water park and pool and people became more vigilant around water.

‘‘There were people drinking by the pool and on their phones, so it was just a matter of time before something happened,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m angry, not so much at the mum because these things happen but there were a lot of people just standing there not doing anything or on their phones.

‘‘A child almost died. Look after your kids, get off your phones and monitor them.’’

The holiday park refused to comment.

Detective Acting Inspector Trent Swinton of Deniliquin police said the near drowning was a timely reminder children needed to be supervised at all times when swimming or playing in and around water; including swimming pools, rivers or residential baths.

‘‘As we move into the heart of summer and a predicted hot weekend in front of us where many will choose to seek relief at our favourite locations on our beautiful river systems, NSW Police highly encourage children who are swimming in the rivers to be fitted with life jackets,’’ he said.

‘‘As placid as the river may appear, the sand banks in a number of locations drop away quickly and the current under the surface can be considerably strong causing a young person or a non-confident swimmer to be lost within seconds if they were to lose their footing and be taken under.’’

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