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POLICE are urgently investigating a Bank Holiday Sunday incident which left a toddler in hospital after being found unresponsive underwater at a nature reserve on the outskirts of Fareham.
Many people are believed to have witnessed the drama as they basked in the early evening sunshine.
Emergency services – including ambulance and fire crews – were called to Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve, at about 8.20pm on Sunday, May 30, following reports that a young child was underwater.
During the rescue operation, a two-year-old boy was located and quickly pulled from the water in an ‘unresponsive’ state. The boy was rushed to Southampton General Hospital, where he was reported to be in a critical but stable condition.
An 18-year-old man from Southampton – believed to be known to the little boy – was arrested at the scene and is currently assisting police with their enquiries.
Hampshire Constabulary said it was still investigating the circumstances surrounding how the boy came to be in the water.
In a press release issued on the force’s media channels, Detective Inspector Toby Elcock said: “We know this incident will come as a shock to the local community, but we ask people to please not speculate as we follow up all lines of enquiry to establish how the boy came to be in the water.
“We are keeping an open mind as to what has happened, and we are keen to speak to anyone in the area to help us build up a picture of the circumstances If you were in the area at this time, please call us. Any information, no matter how small, could prove significant, so please do get in touch.”
Police are appealing for anyone who was near the reserve off Sopwith Way in Swanwick, Fareham, between 7.45pm and 8.30pm to get in touch.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference. 44210210811. Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via the online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.