'She was face down in water': woman saves girl
A TOOWOOMBA woman who potentially saved a young girl from serious injury at the weekend is urging parents to supervise their children, particularly around water.
Leanne Rigney was at Aqua Park Coolum on Sunday and had made a five metre jump from a platform into the water as part of the inflatable obstacle course.
"I jumped from the top and hurt myself when I hit the water," she said.
"I then saw this little girl about six or seven years old behind me.
"She jumped and hit the water face first and I knew she was hurt.
"We all wear (flotation) vests but she was face down in the water and didn't seem to be moving.
"There were no parents around that point and there didn't seem to be anyone supervising the landing area.
"They have people supervising the different areas of the park and they're generally good."
Fearing the young girl was seriously injured, Ms Rigney quickly swam over to her.
"I turned her over and she gasped and spat out water so she had already inhaled water," she said.
"Her eyes opened but she looked stunned.
"I called out to the supervisor at the top of the jump and said I needed help and he called to another person on the other side who paddled over to us.
"By the time they arrived the little girl was okay and saying she wanted to go.
"I wouldn't let her go even when we got to the edge but she said she was okay and wanted to go so I let her.
"I watched her walking away but still there were no parents around.
"There were about 100 children there at the time but I was shocked to see so few adults with them."
On her return home, Ms Rigney, who works for the Department of Education and Training in Toowoomba, emailed the Aqua Park explaining the incident and suggesting they have spotters at the bottom of that jump in case such a problem arises.
"It's a great park and they did have spotters at different points on the course but they really need someone at that point," she said.
"And parents really need to look out for their kids."
However, one of the park's owners Mick Neville told The Chronicle that the staff member at the top of the jump was supervising the area and he had witnessed the incident.
Had no-one been around to help the girl that staff member would have jumped into the water, he said.
"In four years of operation we've never had a drowning or near drowning," he said.
"Safety is our number-one concern and we have more staff than is required.
"We have safety briefings and our record is very good."
Mr Neville said the rules stated that children from three to six had to be accompanied by a parent at all times but it was the parents' responsibility to let their children older than six to use the facilities with the parents or not.