Toddler dies in swimming pool fall

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The Independent Online

A two-year-old boy died after falling into a swimming pool when he wandered off during an engagement party, his family said today.

Ryan Pearman was found in the pool at a neighbour's property in Kennylands Road, Sonning Common, Oxfordshire, last Sunday evening.

He was airlifted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford but could not be revived and he died at 7.30pm.

The party was being hosted by Diana and John Pearman to celebrate their daughter's engagement.

There was a total of 40 adults and 20 children at the event, including Ryan, who was Mr Pearman's great-nephew.

Mr Pearman told the Henley Standard: "It was a glorious day and everybody was outside. It was a wonderful afternoon, a really happy event, and everybody was having a really good time.

"We put on games for the children and we even used the field behind the house to play football and cricket and we played with the children and it was going very well. We were all watching Ryan and he just disappeared next door.

"We looked for him and one of the search party walked past the neighbour's swimming pool and noticed that there was water on top of the cover and Ryan was underneath."

He said guests performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the toddler, who was due to turn three next month, until two ambulances and an air ambulance arrived.

Mr Pearman added that Ryan, who lived with his family in Hertfordshire, was a "lovely little boy" and that he would be sorely missed.

A statement from Ryan's parents, also released to the local newspaper, said: "We have lost our beautiful little boy, the light of our lives, who we loved dearly and were so proud of.

"He was loved by everyone who met him. Please pray for Ryan.

"We would like to thank the paramedics, Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance and staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital who tried so hard to save him. We ask to be left alone to grieve at this devastating time."

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: "Thames Valley Police was called to a report of an unexplained death in Kennylands Road, Sonning Common, on Sunday evening (31/7).

"A two-year-old boy was found in a swimming pool. He was airlifted to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, but he could not be revived.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious and the matter has been handed over to the coroner."