Community mourns for dad, grandfather who gave their lives to save toddler in pool

The community of two men who drowned while trying to save a toddler who fell into a pool is devastated by their deaths.

Apr 02, 2024, updated Apr 02, 2024
Father Dharamvir Singh, whose toddler was rescued from the Gold Coast hotel pool. (Image: supplied)

Father Dharamvir Singh, whose toddler was rescued from the Gold Coast hotel pool. (Image: supplied)

Dharmvir Singh, 38, and Gurjinder Singh, 65, leapt into the pool at a Gold Coast hotel to try to save the younger man’s child on Sunday.

The two-year-old had been playing on the step of the pool before losing their footing and falling into deeper water.

The deepest part of the pool is 2.1 metres with the shallow end 1m deep.

Police said the father and grandfather were able to get the child to safety, but could not swim and got into trouble in the water.

“Unfortunately they were not able to save themselves,” Superintendent Peter Miles said.

“It’s a tragic reminder of what can go wrong and how quickly it can occur. The two-year-old is safe and well but they’re without their father and grandfather now.”

Victorian Sikh Gurdwaras Council vice president Gurdeep Singh Matharoo said it was a “very sad moment” for the community.

“I can feel the pain,” he told ABC Radio.

“It’s a pain for every family who lost their two fathers in the moment.”

Royal Life Saving chief executive Justin Scarr said there had been a number of drownings in hotel or motel swimming pools over the past few years.

He said there was a need to look more closely at safety guidelines of these pools.

“It may be that the current regime, signing and fencing is not enough and more needs to be done, given a range of factors including the sorts of activities that people are doing in those pools and perhaps some weaknesses in people’s understanding of water safety,” he said.

Mr Scarr said there had been at least 34 drowning deaths in March across the country.

Over the 2023/2024 summer months, 99 people drowned.

The two men who drowned were holidaying on the Gold Coast from Victoria.

Premier Jacinta Allan said Victoria ran a range of programs when asked if more needed to be done to teach adults and the multicultural community to swim.

“I would certainly encourage everyone to be safe around the water,” she said.

“Today, I think our focus should be on supporting the family and the loved ones who have gone through such a terrible, terrible tragedy at a time when they were hoping to enjoy a really lovely holiday.”

Mr Scarr said it was important for people of all ages to learn swimming skills and for young children to be constantly watched in the water.

“Ensuring that all Australians, whether they’re residents, migrants, people who were born here or from overseas, ensuring that everyone understands water safety is important,” he said.

Supt Miles said safety measures at the pool will form part of the report police are preparing for the coroner.

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