Seven-year-old girl drowns in St-Amable backyard pool

Authorities are urging parents and pool owners to exercise the utmost caution following the drowning of a seven-year-old girl in St-Amable on Wednesday night.

The incident happened just after 5:00 p.m. Police said the girl’s mother lost sight of her for just a few minutes before finding her in the pool.

When police arrived, a neighbour was conducting CPR, which was continued by first responders. The girl was pronounced dead in hospital.

On Thursday, a floral tribute to the girl was organized by neighbours and stuffed animals were placed on the steps of her home.

Richelieu-St-Laurent police spokesperson Yanic Parent urged those with backyard pools to take all safety precautions to keep children away from the water.

“Safety first, go by the book,” he said. “Every municipality in Quebec has its own regulations, so take the time to go there and know what it is. It goes so fast and sometimes we can’t go back.”

The incident was the fourteenth drowning of 2018 in Quebec. Raynald Hawkins of the Lifesaving Society said the numbers are down compared to last year, but that when it comes to children, a drowning can take only seconds. 

"Usually we say that most drowning situations with children is less than 20 seconds," he said. "You don‘t have any time to do other tasks than supervise that."

He added that parents should teach their kids not to go in or near the water without supervision.

"We know that the majority of drowning situations, we always say they are accidental, but we know they are preventable," he said.