A mother-of-two from Sussex was left in a state of shock after she said her daughter nearly fell in a lake and drowned due to an unsecured gate.
Debbie Rimmer, of Bexhill, was in Egerton Park in the town on Monday afternoon (April 3) with her two daughters, three-year-old Ava-Grace and 19-month-old Georgia-Mae, her friend and her two daughters and nephew when the incident unfolded.
She said: “We were in the sandpit area, which is normally enclosed, but there was no gate attached. It was just standing up against the fence. For a split second I turned to talk to my three-year-old but when I turned back around I couldn’t see Georgia-Mae at all.
“I looked inside the other toddlers’ area and found the gate there was not closed either. My friend told me not to panic but I couldn’t just stand there, knowing my child was nowhere to be seen. I then saw Georgia-Mae walking alongside the boating lake chasing pigeons. She was literally on the edge.
“I didn’t want to call out her name in case she would have got a fright and fallen in the lake. My friend just ran as quickly as she could. Georgia-Mae would have fallen in the lake and drowned if she had been left there any longer.”
Debbie said one of the gates in the children’s play area was not even on its hinges and the other was not secure.
“Georgia-Mae literally just vanished, as she is very quick on her feet,” she added.
Debbie then rang Rother District Council (RDC), which manages Egerton Park, to complain.
She said: “I told the council a tragedy would happen very soon unless something was done about the gates.”
An RDC spokesman said: “We were made aware of a problem with the self-closing gates at Egerton Park’s toddler playground on Monday, and carried out repairs as quickly as possible.
“While regular checks are carried out at all of our playgrounds, we would urge anyone who spots a problem to contact us immediately on 01424 787000.
“We appreciate the concerns raised by the parent that allowed us to quickly address the problem.”
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