'Get me to my daughter': Panic as holiday nightmare unfolds

JUST 45 minutes after arriving at a holiday resort in Cairns, Lynda Somerfield received a chilling phone call: her seven-year-old daughter Isobel had been dragged out of a pool unconscious, and barely breathing.   

Mrs Somerfield said shortly after checking in she had left to retrieve a camper van 15 minutes down the road.   

"As I was getting back in the car to bring the camper van back I received a phone call to say Isobel had been found at the bottom of the pool," the mother-of-four said.   

"We had literally been there for 45 minutes."  

The mother was told Isobel and her siblings were playing in the pool together.   

The seven-year-old let go of the side of the pool and realised she wasn't able to touch the bottom, where she began to drown.  

In a sheer panic, Mrs Somerfield jumped in the car with her step-son and told him, "get me to my daughter".   

"When I got there I jumped out of my vehicle and ran towards the ambulance," Mrs Somerfield said.   

"I had no idea where I was going... I just saw a group of people so I ran towards the people and the lights and jumped in the ambulance with Isobel."  

RECOVERY: Isobel Somerfield is recovering after a near-drowning experience this week.
RECOVERY: Isobel Somerfield is recovering after a near-drowning experience this week. Contributed

Paramedics cut off Isobel's clothes because she was suffering from some hypothermia, and was receiving oxygen.    She was alert, however very lethargic, and had taken in a large quantity of water while she was underwater.   

Had it not been for a young girl named Tia who noticed Isobel underwater and a father-of-two for giving her CPR, Mrs Somerfield said the holiday could have ended in tragedy.  

Isobel was taken to Cairns Hospital for treatment and was discharged on Tuesday afternoon.  

"She's doing a lot better," Mrs Somerfield said.   

"She's very timid at the moment, she doesn't want to be around large groups of people. She just wants to be quiet and go back to the room now.   

"She's fine in the sense that she's running around doing normal kid stuff, but she's quite timid now and doesn't want to go out and do stuff."  

Despite the trauma, Mrs Somerfield said it was time for the family to continue on with their holiday, with a touch more caution than when they arrived.   

"I've had a few tears and had my moments, but I'm just thankful that there was a stranger at the pool who did CPR," she said.  

Along with a twin sister, Harriet, Isobel has an older brother and sister who Mrs Somerfield said have doted on her since the incident.  

"Her twin sister wouldn't sleep the night Issy was in the hospital," she said.   

"Last night they all fell asleep together holding hands. They're happy to be back together."  

Mrs Somerfield urged parents to exercise caution while on holidays with their kids, especially around pools and resorts.   

"Just make sure you know where your kids are," she said.   

"It can happen to anyone and it happens in a matter of seconds."