A grandmother today relived her desperate efforts to save a drowning toddler from a hotel swimming pool.
Trained lifeguard Carole Greenwood, 52, pulled the three-year-old girl from the seven foot deep water before performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in front of her two-year-old grandson Riley.
Ms Greenwood, from St Leonards Road, St Annes, was walking from the changing rooms at the resort’s Dalmeny Hotel with Riley when she saw the girl at the bottom of the pool on Thursday morning.
The girl, who has not been named, was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital before being transferred to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
But despite attempts to save her life, the youngster died at around 8pm on Thursday. Police say a murder and child neglect probe is continuing.
Describing her dramatic attempt to save the child, Ms Greenwood said: “When you see the body at the bottom your training just kicks in automatically and my focus, apart from making sure my grandson was alright, was on this child.
“Riley’s been a very brave boy because obviously he has limited understanding but he did see absolutely everything and it wasn’t nice.
“There were other children around and they saw it all as well.”
Around 20 people in the hotel area of the pool at 11am on Thursday, when the incident happened. Another swimmer had attempted to dive down to the girl before Ms Greenwood intervened.
The girl, from Galashiels, in Scotland, was said to be wearing a swimming costume.
On hearing the news that the girl had died, Ms Greenwood said: “It’s very distressing that the little girl’s now died but I did my best and what I was trained to do.
“It’s sad that’s it’s not been a good outcome.
“I do feel I did all I possibly could and the hotel did everything they could.”
Chris Webb, director of the Dalmeny Hotel, on the Promenade, where flags outside the premises were flown at half mast yesterday, says staff have been left “deeply saddened” by the tragedy. He said: “We’re absolutely devastated about what’s gone on and we offer our sympathies for all concerned.
“We’re assisting the police in whatever we can do.
“It’s devastating for all the rest of the guests as well.
“Our concerns are for those directly concerned and the impact that has on the rest of the guests in the hotel.”
A Home Office post-mortem examination will take place in due course to establish the cause of death.
Det Chief Insp Dean Holden, of Lancashire Police, said: “We are treating this tragic incident as an unexplained death and are continuing to investigate just how the child has come into difficulties in the pool. Our thoughts remain with the child’s family at this sad time.”
A 40-year-old woman from Galashiels, who was arrested on suspicion of murder and child neglect, was last night bailed by police until November 15.