Sat. May 28th, 2022


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Mum ‘felt sick and cried as lifeless boy’ was pulled from swimming pool

3 min read

A mum-of-two said she felt sick and "prayed for the first time in 10 years" when as she watched a "lifeless" young boy being pulled out of a busy swimming pool.

Sabryna Porter, 42, was enjoying a trip out to Festival Park Waterworld with her son Rohan, 10, three of his friends and two other adults last Sunday when the situation suddenly became very worrying.

At around 3.30pm, emergency crews were called to reports of a child drowning, she said.

Sabryna, from Hartshill, said: “We did slides for a while which was amazing.

"Then it got busy so the kids didn’t want to queue. There were 40-minute queues to get the yellow ring you needed before queuing for the actual ride.

“We stopped and had lunch and got back in and at that stage my two-year-old daughter was being minded by a friend so my partner had to go and pick her up. The other mum with me had to go home to her puppy.

“Very quickly a loud distinctive alarm went off and four members of staff had the crash bed and ran into the water. At that stage my heart was sinking.”

Sabryna immediately got her son and his friends together as lifeguards and off-duty paramedics started CPR.

She added: “We were just two metres away in the frog area. When I saw him come out of the water I did think he was gone. This tiny little guy, around four or five years old, was on the side and the staff were very responsive. They were working their magic. This all happened in minutes.

“There’s another lifeguard clearing the crowd and then there were the screens put around him.

“They were quick and it was an organised approach but I could see there was some serious concern. He was completely lifeless coming out of the water. I got a fright. I was crying.

“I’m a Catholic and haven't prayed in around 10 years and I did. The thought that someone might lose a child was sickening.

“You could see the crowd was dispersed and people were back in the same place he was pulled out of which kind of astonished me. I felt sick.

“At the end of the day I'm just grateful the little person didn’t die.”

Wayne Goodall, group commercial and compliance manager at Waterworld, said the park's safety record was "first class".

He said: “We have welcomed millions of visitors during our 32-year history.

“As soon as it became apparent that this young boy was experiencing difficulties, our lifeguards swung into action and their specialist training kicked in. They successfully rescued and resuscitated the child before the emergency services arrived.

“It is thanks to their swift actions, and the well-rehearsed health and safety systems at Waterworld, that a tragedy was avoided that day.

“We are also grateful to those members of the public who stepped forward to offer assistance to our lifeguards at the time.

“This incident reinforces why we take such great care to put rigorous risk assessments and regular training sessions in place for our staff."

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We were called to reports of a child who had drowned in Waterworld at around 3.40pm on Sunday afternoon.

"Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and a BASICS Emergency Doctor were sent to the scene.

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