Family pay tribute to 'happy, joyful' three-year-old who died in Leeds pool tragedy

A three-year-old child who drowned in a swimming pool was "the most amazing, happy, joyful boy you could ever wish to meet", his family has said.

Rocco Wright died in an incident at the David Lloyd Club on Tongue Lane, Leeds, on Saturday.

Family handout photo supplied by Ramsdens Solicitors of Rocco Wright, 3, who drowned at the David Lloyd Club in Leeds on Saturday.

Rocco was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Officers said they are treating the incident as a "tragic accident".

In a statement issued on Monday, Rocco's father, Steven, said: "We are all totally devastated by the loss of the most amazing, happy, joyful boy you could ever wish to meet.

"Rocco truly loved life and we will be left with a void forever that can never be filled.

"RIP buddy, we'll love you forever."

Mr Wright said he was with Rocco and his four-year-old sister at the centre for his daughter's regular Saturday morning swimming lesson.

He said he decided to take both children swimming himself after some confusion over the swimming instructors.

Mr Wright said: "It was at this point I decided I would forget the lesson and just swim with both my children only to realise I couldn't see Rocco.

"I checked round the poolside thinking he would be hiding, but devastatingly he wasn't.

"I found him at the far end of pool face down at the bottom. I dived in and got him out onto the poolside and screamed for help."

Mr Wright said that, contrary to some statements, it was he who pulled his son from the water, and a lifeguard did not "rescue" him.

He said: "By making this statement we're not trying to place blame, we just want the facts to be reported accurately."

The family said this "misreporting" had "caused further grief and deep upset", especially as it has led to some on social media blaming them for what happened.

They said the children had not been left unattended in the pool.

Detective Inspector James Entwistle, of West Yorkshire Police, said on Saturday: "This appears to be a tragic accident and our thoughts are with the boy's family at this extremely difficult time.

"While there is nothing to suggest that the death was suspicious, we do have a duty to investigate the circumstances of what has happened.

"We understand that there were a number of people in the pool at the time who have left the area prior to police arriving at the scene. We would ask these people to come forward to give their accounts of what they have seen and heard."

A spokeswoman for David Lloyd Clubs said: "All of our team at the club are deeply shocked and our thoughts are very much with the boy's family at this sad time.

"We are working closely with the relevant local authorities and have launched a full investigation into this tragic incident."

- PA


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