Kent

Dajahnel Young inquest: Drowning a 'tragic accident'

Margate beach Image copyright Griselda Mussett
Image caption The youngster from Erith, south-east London, drowned in Margate

The death of a six-year-old girl who drowned during a church trip to the Kent coast was a tragic accident, a coroner has concluded.

Dajahnel Young was seen "floating lifeless" in the sea at Margate, on 28 July 2018.

Her mother Camille Remekie told an inquest she had entrusted her friend, Cynthia Robinson, to look after her daughter who could not swim.

Coroner Alan Blunsdon said he could not conclude this was a case of neglect.

Miss Remekie said she told her friend "about two times" before the trip: "I do not want her going into the water."

Mrs Robinson disputed this and said she had gone to her tent to get her phone so she could film the beach visit, the inquest at Sandwich Guildhall heard.

She said she then realised the child was missing, stopped filming and raised the alarm. She went to look for her and later asked a lifeguard for help.

Image copyright Griselda Mussett
Image caption Margate beach was crowded with visitors when Dajahnel died

Dajahnel, from Erith in south-east London, was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead after failed attempts to resuscitate her.

Mr Blunsdon said it was possible Dajahnel had gone to join others in the group in the water, or to find another group who had gone to buy ice cream, but may have become confused and disorientated.

He said he was not persuaded Mrs Remekie specifically instructed Mrs Robinson that Dajahnel was not to go in the water at all. He said her recollection may have been affected by the events.

Dajahnel was one of 25 children who had been reported missing on the beach that day, the coroner said.

"A moment of inattention is a nightmare faced by many parents on a daily basis, including on Margate beach where it was the nightmare experienced by 25 parents."

He said he did not believe this death represented a gross failure.

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