Perth girl Phoebe Van Niel in dramatic rescue of toddler who slipped into Broome hotel pool

Written by

A brave Perth girl has been hailed as a little hero after dive to the rescue of a small child who had “snuck” into a hotel pool.

Phoebe Van Niel was on holiday in Broome when she saw a two-year-old fall into the water “without floaties”.

The seven-year-old quickly ran to the rescue, dove in and pulled the youngster to safety.

“She could have drowned and I didn’t want that to happen,” the Year 2 student, who has spent years taking swimming lessons in South Perth, told 9News.

If you would like to view this content, please adjust your .

To find out more about how we use cookies, please see our Cookie guide.

Her mother Renae Van Niel admitted there was “a lot of panic” at first, but Phoebe’s selfless actions brought the emergency under control and the youngster was pulled, slightly shaken, to safety.

“Everybody was able to relax a little bit knowing she was going to be OK,” she said.

The proud mother, whose daughter dreams of becoming a surfer, has urged other parents to ensure their children are safe in the water through swimming lessons.

Phoebe Van Niel, left, was on holiday in Broome when she saw a two-year-old fall into the water
Camera iconPhoebe Van Niel, left, was on holiday in Broome when she saw a two-year-old fall into the water “without a float”. Credit: 9 News
Mother Renae Van Niel admitted that in the beginning there was
Camera iconMother Renae Van Niel admitted there was “a lot of panic” at first, but Phoebe’s (pictured) selfless actions brought the emergency under control. Credit: 9 News

It comes after a report released in September revealed the number of drowning deaths in Australia had reached its highest point in 25 years.

There were 339 drownings nationally in the 12 months to June 30, up from 295 the year before and the highest reported number since 1996.

“This year has been the worst we’ve experienced (in) collecting information on coastal drownings over the past 18 years,” Surf Life Saving Australia chief executive Adam Weir said at the time.

About the author

Leave a Comment