Tragedy as girl, seven, dies at Waveney River Centre swimming pool near Beccles

A police officer standing outside the swimming pool at the Waveney River Centre. Picture: James Bass

A police officer standing outside the swimming pool at the Waveney River Centre. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The tragic death of a seven-year-old girl after she was pulled unconscious from a swimming pool on Sunday has been described as 'devastating'.

The Waveney River Centre. Picture: James Bass

The Waveney River Centre. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Emergency services, staff and customers tried to save her life, with paramedics battling to resuscitate her after she was pulled out of the water at Waveney River Centre at about noon yesterday.

The girl, who was at a private party in Eddie's Pool at the holiday park, near Beccles, was unresponsive but was still alive.

She was taken to James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston by ambulance, but died at about 4pm.

James Knight, who owns the centre, said: 'We are devastated by this tragedy but want to thank the paramedics, our staff and customers who did everything possible to save the girl's life, and the police and local authority officers who have been outstandingly professional during these early stages of their investigation.


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'Out of respect for the girl's family, we will not be re-opening the pool until after this bank holiday weekend and hope that our guests will understand our decision.

'We have no further comment to make at this time.'

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A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service confirmed attempts were made to resuscitate the girl and said: 'We received a call to reports of a girl who was found unresponsive in water in Waveney.

'A rapid response vehicle, two ambulance crews and an air ambulance was dispatched and treated her before conveying to James Paget Hospital via land in a serious condition.'

Her death is currently being treated as unexplained but is not believed to be suspicious. Police are to continue their investigations today and the girl's next-of-kin has been informed.

The girl's name, or where she is from, has yet to be released. It is currently not clear what happened to the girl or the exact injuries she suffered.

Throughout yesterday afternoon the building for the swimming pool was cordoned off, and police remained on scene to conduct investigations.

The rest of the centre remained open, but visitors spoke of their shock at seeing so many emergency services at the centre.

Tyler Roberts, 55, from Lowestoft, said: 'When I arrived at 1pm there were four police cars, an ambulance and an air ambulance on scene.

'I heard it was something to do with a little girl, which is awfully sad.'

Waveney River Centre, on Staithe Road in Burgh St Peter, is an award winning family-owned park.

It includes holiday lodges, camping and boat hire. The indoor heated pool, which was refurbished over the winter is used for children's parties and is described on the centre's website as being suitable for 10 to 20 youngsters.

• Do you want to pay tribute to the girl? Call Lauren Cope on 01603 772313 or email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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