Toddler dies in unfenced holiday park dam

The father of a toddler who drowned at a South Australian camp ground on Sunday morning is calling for the park’s popular fishing spot to be fenced.

18-month-old Amaya Nawar could not be revived after falling into the open dam at Coonawarra Bush Holiday Park north of Penola.

Her grieving father, Abu Huda, said he and his wife frantically searched the park before their friend saw the little girl floating in the water just after 11am. 

She was pulled, unresponsive, from the dam and rushed to the Naracoorte Hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.

Mr Huda told 7News: “The doctor came and my wife shouted, ‘did you come here to tell us that she is no more?’ and the doctor just said ‘yes’. That was the hardest word we have ever heard.”

South Australian police are preparing a report for the coroner following what they have called the “non-suspicious death”.

“Desperate efforts by emergency services crews to revive the little girl were sadly unsuccessful,” a spokesperson said.

The family, who made their home in Adelaide after arriving from Bangladesh six years ago, are now calling for fencing for the dam, which they say looked “really dangerous” when they arrived at the park.

“One fence could have saved my daughter’s life,” said Mr Huda.

The holiday park’s manager told 7NEWS that the unfenced dam is safety compliant because the water is designated for fishing, not swimming.

The 18-month-old and her parents were part of a group of ten people that arrived at the park after dark on Saturday. They were accommodated in a glamping tent about 40 metres from the water’s edge.

The park manager told 7News there were five or six staff members rostered on for the morning and none of them saw what happened to the child.

He said his thoughts were with Amaya’s family and he would cooperate with the coroner’s investigation to prevent another such tragedy.

Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: [email protected]

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