Small community rocked by drowning
A LOCKYER Valley toddler has been found drowned after he went missing for nearly three hours.
The boy's family reported the two-year-old missing from their Blokland Ct home in Hatton Vale about 6pm Thursday.
Police officers as well as officers from the dog squad and Polair helicopter searched the area for the boy.
Neighbours reported people from nearby streets were also out searching for the boy in hopes he had been hiding somewhere.
But his body was found in a nearby dam at the family property about 8.40pm.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Founding director of drowning prevention group Hannah's Foundation Andrew Plint passed on his condolences to the family.
"It is so difficult to watch children in a dynamic environment around the home and we understand how painful the moments of wait are," he said.
"Around the home there are so many places to hide and play games, but unfortunately where there is water, there is risk and on a rural property dams are a way of life.
"As a policeman I know what the attending emergency crews go through and I thank them for their efforts to try to rescue the young boy."
Mr Plint and his wife Katherine began the charity after their two-year-old daughter Hannah drowned in a pool at their Laidley home in 2007.
A coronial inquest into the death found Hannah had dragged a plastic chair to the pool gate, opened the gate and fell or jumped into the above ground pool.
The inquest laid no blame on anyone for the death.
Mr Plint said it was the time for the community to rally and support the Hatton Vale family.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.