Off-duty officer saves toddler’s life in ‘harrowing’ pool incident
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An off-duty Notts Police officer has been praised for her “superb display of professionalism and heroism” after she saved a child from drowning on holiday.
Sergeant Claire Harradine was with her family in Turkey when she spotted a two-year-old unresponsive in a swimming pool.
Harrowing CCTV shows the toddler coming down a water slide without armbands. She entered the pool and didn’t come back up – bobbing face down for almost four minutes.
It was only when Sgt Harradine walked past and heard a young girl say, “look mummy, that baby’s doing a handstand in the water” that the severity of the situation was realised.
Sgt Harradine, a response officer in Bassetlaw, rushed into the pool and pulled the toddler’s lifeless body out of the water.
She wasn’t breathing and her lips had turned blue. But as others panicked and with the child’s parents screaming, Sgt Harradine remained calm and began trying to resuscitate their daughter.
Relying on her police training, Sgt Harradine administered CPR that – against the odds – revived the young toddler. She spent a few days in hospital and went on to make a full recovery.
On Tuesday (21 November), Sgt Harradine was among 30 Notts Police officers and six members of the public to receive a Chief Constable Commendation during a ceremony at Force HQ for going above and beyond to keep people safe.
Sgt Harradine said she felt “quite flabbergasted” to receive the commendation, adding it felt “amazing” to have saved the toddler’s life.
Recalling the incident, which happened at a resort in Antalya on 5 June, Sgt Harradine said:
“It was awful. From the CCTV, the toddler’s come down a water slide without armbands and then floats face down in the water for several minutes.
“At one point she drifted underneath some lane dividers, which made her harder to spot. It was only when I walked past and heard and young girl say, ‘look mummy, that baby’s doing a handstand in the water’ that I realised what was happening.
“I dragged her out of the pool and the rest is a bit of a blur to be honest. I commenced CPR and I remember the girl coughing up water and some blood. She then started screaming and I thought to myself ‘I’ll listen to you screaming all day as it means you’re alive’.
“I saw her mum the following day and she hugged me. We both had a little cry. I’ve got two boys and you can’t help but relate what happened to your own children. I’m just so relieved everything turned out OK.”
Sgt Harradine was nominated by Inspector Hayley Crawford, the district commander for Bassetlaw, who said:
“Claire fully deserves recognition for her superb display of professionalism and heroism in saving the life of a toddler whilst on holiday.
“Without question, Claire saved the young girl’s life and spared her family from the pain of losing a child. She’s an absolute hero in my mind.
“I have viewed the CCTV footage and it is harrowing. For four minutes, the toddler was not noticed despite there being a number of people in and around the pool.
“It was only Claire who realised the toddler was drowning and dragged her out of the pool. Everyone went into panic mode and even the lifeguards had to be directed by Claire.
“Despite being off-duty and in a foreign country, she took control of a frightening situation.
“This was an excellent example of what Claire is all about – professional, caring and always seeking to help people. She should be immensely proud of herself.”
The incident happened towards the end of Sgt Harradine’s holiday and she admitted feeling happy to go home afterwards with her husband and two children.
“It happened on the second to last day of our holiday and I couldn’t relax afterwards as I was too busy watching everyone in the pool, worried the same thing would happen.
“Thankfully it didn’t and hopefully it won’t ever again.”