Would-be-rescuer still in a state of shock
THE tragic drowning of two-year-old Nikki Dalton has left would-be rescuer Gary Seaby in a state of utter shock.
He cannot rest, cannot work and vividly remembers pulling Nikki's lifeless body out of a residential pool in Nobbs Street, North Rockhampton.
"I can't sleep. Even with my eyes open, I still see her face,'' said the 45-year-old maintenance worker.
"Nikki was such a happy-go-lucky little girl.''
Mr Seaby had known Nikki's mother Nicole Plummer for more than 17 years.
He had gone to their home to pick up his niece, Amy Seaby, when the incident occurred.
He said when he arrived Nikki had been missing for about 30 minutes and people in the neighbourhood were already looking for her.
"I advised her (Ms Plummer) to call the police,'' he said.
"I stayed at the front of the house and continued looking up the street.''
Then a boy came running around the house saying he had found Nikki in the pool.
Mr Seaby ran through the house to the back yard where he saw the two-year-old floating just above the bottom of the pool.
"I dived into the pool and grabbed her,'' he said. "Her body felt lifeless.''
Mr Seaby said he didn't know how long he applied CPR before police arrived on scene.
"Honestly, I could have been there five minutes or 30 minutes,'' he said.
"The whole day seemed like it lasted 48 hours.''
After the police arrived Nikki was taken to the hospital in a critical condition, but staff were unable to save her.
This is the second friend Mr Seaby has lost to a pool drowning in two years. He said the tragedy should be a lesson to all parents.
The Plummer family had been renting the Nobbs Street home for only a couple weeks, he said.
"Council should be doing more to ensure pools are child-proof.