DUNGUN: The father of a 2-year-old girl who drowned in a fishing pond yesterday said that he tried saving his daughter after pulling her out of the water.
"I screamed with all my heart as soon as I saw her floating in the water. I tried my best, including administering CPR, but God loves her more," said Mohd Rafi Ibrahim, 39.
His daughter, Nur Rania Faizah, slipped into the fishing pond at Bukit Besi in Dungun at 5.15pm yesterday.
She was confirmed dead while being treated at Dungun Hospital at 8pm last night.
Mohd Rafi said that he, along with his wife, Fatinhanani Ali, 31, took Rania and their two other children, Muhammad Alim Solihim, 5, and two-month-old baby, Muhammad Irfan Hakim, fishing at the pond around 5pm.
"Earlier, I was fishing, while my wife was breastfeeding our youngest child in a sheltered area, and Rania was playing with my eldest son not far from me.
"Less than 15 minutes later,my son approached me and when I asked where his sister was, he replied that he didn't know," he said.
Worried, he immediately began searching for Rania and asked the pond keeper for help.
"My heart shattered when I found her floating in the pond, about 50 metres from where I was fishing, before the pond keeper jumped in to retrieve her.
"I tried to save my daughter. At that moment, a lot of water came out of her mouth and she seemed lifeless," he said.
According to him, he then took Rania to Bukit Besi Health Clinic before being referred to Dungun Hospital.
However, he was informed by a medical officer that his daughter couldn't be saved and was pronounced dead at 8pm.
Meanwhile, Fatinhanani said she had a craving for catfish before her husband agreed to take the children fishing that day.
She said that when she realised Rania was missing, she screamed several times, calling her daughter's name.
"When she didn't respond, my heart began to worry before my husband informed me that Rania had fallen into the pond.
"I didn't expect our visit here to end in tragedy," she said.
She added that throughout the day, Rania was very attached to her as if she didn't want to be separated.
"Yesterday, Rania asked her grandfather to take her to the cemetery because she claimed to miss visiting her grandmother who passed away three months ago.
"Rania also recited prayers and watered her grandmother's grave," she said.
Fatinhanani said that on the morning of the incident, Rania's grandfather bought her favourite 'kuih bakar' but she refused to eat them. She fed Fatinhanani the kuih instead.
Rania's body was claimed by her family at 2.30 pm earlier today before being buried at the cemetery near their family home in Kampung Landas Ajil, Hulu Terengganu.