The mum of a six-year-old girl who drowned at the beach told friend looking after her: ‘I don’t want my baby going into the water.’
Tragic youngster Dajahnel Young was spotted floating lifeless in the sea before coming to rest near the harbour arm in Margate, Kent, on a hot summer’s day last year, an inquest was told.
Desperate attempts to resuscitate the youngster, who could not swim, proved unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead in hospital July 28 2018.
Her mum, Camille Remekie, told the inquest that she entrusted her friend Cynthia Robinson to take care of her daughter while on a seaside trip from their home in Erith, south east London, to the crowded east Kent beach.
After hearing of a planned group outing organised by church friends, Miss Remekie was at first reluctant to allow her daughter, known by her middle name Amazin, to go as she did not want her going into the ‘dirty’ water.
However, ‘at the last minute’ the 32-year-old consented and Amazin stayed at Mrs Robinson’s home overnight before heading down to Margate the following morning.
The relationship between long-term friends Miss Remekie and Mrs Robinson had been strained for a number of years, but allowing Amazin to go to the beach was seen as a step to ‘mending’ their friendship.
Camille had lived with Cynthia and her husband on and off since they first met at a church, when she was about 19.
Giving evidence today at The Guildhall in Sandwich, Miss Remekie, who was working on the day of the tragedy, says she told Mrs Robinson the day before: ‘I don’t want my baby going into the water’.
‘But I don’t remember her saying anything in response,’ she added.
Miss Remekie had contact via video call with Mrs Robinson later that evening to check how her daughter was doing.
They spoke again when the group were driving down to Margate, and then again when they had arrived at the beach on Saturday July 28 last year.
Miss Remekie told the hearing: ‘When I called her, she [Mrs Robinson] said ‘why are you tracking me down?’ – that’s the very first thing she said to me.
‘I said, ‘because you’ve got my child’. On the video call I could see Amazin playing in the sand and she was going to get seashells for her grandma.
‘Denise, one of my customers in the shop, told me to tell her ‘don’t put my baby in the water’. But I don’t remember if I said that again on the phone..’
Amazin, described as an ‘inquisitive’ and ‘happy’ child, had never been swimming in the sea before, but had been in a pool wearing armbands a handful of times.
Miss Remekie said: ‘I didn’t specifically tell Amazin not to go in the water. She would have wanted to as it’s exciting.’
A pre-inquest review in April was told Amazin had been told to go into the water to wash after wetting herself.
Her lifeless body was found in the water in the harbour area of the resort. A passerby spotted what he thought was a ‘floating plank of debris’ before realising it was the body of a child.
She was found on a sand bank close to the sea in the harbour near boats and despite being treated by paramedics the youngster, from Erith, south east London, later died in hospital.
Following the videocall, the next contact Miss Remekie received was from staff at the Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital, who told her Amazin had been admitted.
Joined by her friend Denise, Miss Remekie went by police car to the hospital, where she was later told Amazin had died.
In the aftermath of her daughter’s death, Miss Remekie remembers her first contact with Mrs Robinson over the phone.
‘I didn’t really want to talk to her but she was saying ‘it was the lifeguards’ fault, it’s everyone else’s fault’.’
The heartbroken mother said Cynthia tried to reach her the next day, but Camil didn’t want to talk to her.
Camil told the hearing that she was still waiting for an explanation from Cynthia as to how her daughter died.
The inquest which is expected to last five days continues.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Milly Vincent