POLICE have arrested a Scottish mother following the death of her three-year-old daughter in a hotel swimming pool.
The girl’s body was spotted at the bottom of the indoor pool in the Dalmeny Hotel in St Annes, Lancashire, shortly before midday on Thursday.
Last night, the woman was being questioned on suspicion of murder and child neglect by Lancashire Police.
Police confirmed that they believe the child, from Galashiels, had been left in the pool, which has no separate children’s section, by an adult.
It is understood that the investigation is focusing on whether the incident was a deliberate act, negligence or a tragic accident.
The identity of the woman and the child have not been released.
Health and safety officials are also carrying out an investigation into the incident.
Detective Chief Inspector Dean Holden said: “We are treating this tragic incident as an unexplained death and are continuing to investigate just how the child has come into difficulties in the pool.
“Our thoughts remain with the child’s family at this sad time.”
The girl was initially taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and then later the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in a critical condition, but was pronounced dead at 7:55pm on Thursday night.
A Home Office post-mortem examination will take place to confirm the exact cause of death.
Police launched the probe after paramedics failed in their efforts to revive the child at the poolside as shocked guests looked on.
Carole Greenwood said she fought to rescue the youngster from the bottom of the 7ft deep pool and managed to get her breathing, but hospital doctors could not save her life.
Mrs Greenwood, from St Annes, is a member of the leisure club at the hotel and was getting ready to take her grandson, Riley, aged two, swimming in the pool when the incident began.
She said: “I was in the changing rooms and a lady came in and said, ‘There’s an incident in the pool, is there a lifeguard?’. The child was on the bottom of the pool, so I dived in and got her out.”
Mrs Greenwood, a former pool attendant, lifeguard and swimming teacher, added: “I wasn’t really aware of what had happened when I got there.
“My concern was with the little girl and rescuing her and resuscitating her as best I could.
“She was on the bottom, she was unresponsive and I pulled her out as per my training and then I resuscitated her on the side.
“I did manage to resuscitate her and she was breathing when the ambulance arrived. Obviously, I’m devastated for the poor little girl. It’s very sad.”
A spokeswoman for the Dalmeny Hotel said she was “deeply shocked and saddened by what has happened” but that as the matter was now in the hands of the police, they were unable to comment further.
The family-friendly Dalmeny Hotel has a spa and, according to its website, offers a range of children’s entertainment and activities. The neighbouring seaside towns of Lytham and St Annes are situated on the Fylde coast, south of Blackpool.