Father, grandfather drown trying to save toddler

Fraser Barton and Rachael Ward |

Two men have drowned in a pool at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.
Two men have drowned in a pool at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.

The deaths of a man and his father while trying to save a toddler who fell into a Gold Coast pool has prompted authorities to issue a warning about water safety.

The younger man’s child was reportedly playing on the step of an apartment block pool when they lost their footing and fell into deeper water, sparking the double Easter tragedy.

The child’s father, Dharmvir Singh, 38, and grandfather Gurjinder Singh, 65, leapt into the pool to try to save the toddler only to get into trouble themselves.

Mitchell Ware from the Queensland Ambulance Service said bystanders were able to pull the people from the pool and performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but both men died at the scene.

A woman known to the two men was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in an emotional but stable condition.

“It’s an extremely emotional scene. Anyone could understand that not just to lose one family member but to lose two family members,” Mr Ware said.

School holidays and the Easter break were a particularly busy time for emergency service workers where there’s a spike in drownings, he said.

“I will just reiterate to the community to exercise due care, especially if you’re not a strong swimmer, and especially if there’s young children around that you are really careful,” Mr Ware said.

“Because we know that children and even adults can drown within a couple of seconds if they find themselves in those sort of situations.”

The family is understood to be holidaying from Victoria.

It is unclear whether safety flotation devices were by the pool at the time. 

Mr Ware said “tragic” incidents such as this affected families, witnesses and first responders.

“We’ve got a good support network around our paramedics,” he added.

“But it’s not just our first responders that can respond to these sort of incidents that are obviously tragic for the family, also the community –  there was bystanders within the pool also on holidays.

“These incidents can have long-lasting effects for not just the family members involved but also the people that were at the scene as well and also the first responders.

“So again, obviously express our condolences to those people.”

Queensland police are investigating and a report will be prepared for the coroner.