Divers find body in search for missing man at Sandwell Valley pool
A body has been retrieved by divers searching for a missing man in a Black Country pool.
The man, named by friends as 35-year-old Ali Ammini, is thought to have drowned after getting into difficulty in Swan Pool at Sandwell Valley Country Park last night.
Emergency services were called at around 6pm last night and the body was pulled from the water at around 2pm.
A friend who was with Mr Ammini said he got into difficulty while swimming with his cousin in the water, which is shallow on the edges but up to 5m deep in places.
WATCH: Friend describes attempts to save man
Jallil Khodamoradi said he and two others swam out to Mr Ammini in an attempt to save him but could not pull him out from under the water.
"There were five of us altogether, and I realised he was in trouble when his cousin swam much further than him," he said.
"I'm not a good swimmer either but I forced myself in and swam after him.
"Two of us got to him and went underneath him and I was exhausted by this point.
GALLERY: Police search Swan Pool
"I forced myself to lift him up and I tried it a few times but he couldn't move, he was already like a dead body he was so exhausted.
"By this point there were three of us trying to help in and we then called for help from a stranger on the bank, I was screaming for help and he came in too.
"We tried so hard to help him but he just disappeared below us. I swallowed so much of the water it was horrible. We all tried desperately to save him.
"When I reached him he was alive but he was so exhausted and couldn't move, his muscles were tense and he was heavy, I tried to lift him but he was drowning me, eventually I lad to lie on my back and float otherwise I would have died and I would be with him right now.
"I was right next to him and he just sank, he disappeared. If one of us was a good swimmer we might have saved him."
Mr Ammini had been married for around 18 months and had an infant son.
A body was pulled from the water this afternoon by a specialist team from Nottinghamshire Police, who had started trawling the pool near West Bromwich around an hour earlier.
The water had already been searched for around three hours on Tuesday evening after emergency services were called to reports of a group of men shouting for help at around 6pm.
The operation was suspended overnight and divers were expected to continue searching this morning but the Nottinghamshire team did not arrive at Swan Pool until early afternoon.
Family members, who had been waiting anxiously at the pool throughout the day, said they were frustrated at the delayed resumption of the search.
WATCH: Footage from Swan Pool
Mohammed Tasib, Mr Ammini's father-in-law, said: “Why couldn’t they have arranged for divers to search quicker? The delay is our main query. We’re frustrated and disappointed and the grief to the family is immense.
"We want a bit of closure. My daughter is sat in Oxford waiting for news, it hurts."
Cousin Meran Abdullah added: “It all happened about half five yesterday evening and since then we haven’t seen a body or anything.
"The police and emergency services haven’t done enough.
"Birmingham is the second biggest city in the UK, there’s a lot of lakes and rivers around and we’ve waited too long for divers.
"This situation could have been dealt with better. It’s really frustrating, upsetting and emotional. He has a family and it’s heartbreaking. "
An air ambulance landed near the pool last night, while the Hazardous Area Response Team was also at the scene alongside police officers, paramedics and firefighters.
Local resident Emma Weldon, 38, said: “I was in the garden with the kids when I heard sirens and saw a helicopter.
“It’s sad, how awful to think about it, our thoughts are with the family. I used to come with my family when I was a kid and we were always told not to go in the water.”
A West Midlands Police man said: "Specialist officers searching for a 35-year-old man in Swan Pool, Sandwell Valley have recovered a body.
"The body is yet to be formally identified and the death, which is not thought to be suspicious, will be referred to the coroner."
Earlier in the day, a West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman confirmed they were called to a reported drowning and said: “Emergency services arrived to be told a male had gone missing in Swan Pool.
"HART paramedics worked with police and fire colleagues to begin a joint search of the water.
"After several hours, the search operation was ceased for the night and the ambulance service was stood down at 9.00pm.
“The search has resumed this morning by the police and fire service.”
In a separate incident in Wednesfield, a man died in hospital after being rescued from a canal.
A West Midlands Police spokesman explained what happened: "We were called to reports of a man drowning in a canal in Wednesfield yesterday afternoon.
"Two PCSO’s attended and performed CPR on the man, who’d been pulled from the canal by passers-by, until the ambulance arrived.
"He was taken to hospital for emergency treatment, but unfortunately nothing could be done to save his life.
"The matter is not being treated as suspicious, and a file will be prepared for the coroner in due course."
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