Hero council worker saves boy from drowning at town hall

Tolga Ulasan rescued the boy from the fountain at Waltham Forest town hall

Tolga Ulasan rescued the boy from the fountain at Waltham Forest town hall

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

The fountain at Waltham Forest town hall has been drained to prevent further accidents after a three-year-old boy almost drowned in it.

As thousands of people celebrated the Mela, a celebration of Asian music, dance and culture, on Sunday, a dramatic scene unfolded at the front of the complex in Forest Road.

Tolga Ulasan, 29, was leaving the festival with his girlfriend when he noticed a child in trouble.

Mr Ulasan, of Westward Road in Chingford, who is a deputy manager at Waltham Forest Pool and Track, said his lifeguard training kicked in.

“I was on my way up the driveway when I turned back and saw him. He looked like he was going to fall over, he lost his footing," he said.

Waltham Forest council said the incident was a “one-off”.

For the full story see tomorrow's Waltham Forest Guardian.

Comments (13)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:27pm Wed 25 Jun 14

jonny mash says...

Well done that man. I enjoy seeing the fountain and it's multicloured lights so it's a shame that it has been drained, shirley the council can put an electric fence round it to stop such incidents happening again. Even a sign saying "Careful now" would help
Well done that man. I enjoy seeing the fountain and it's multicloured lights so it's a shame that it has been drained, shirley the council can put an electric fence round it to stop such incidents happening again. Even a sign saying "Careful now" would help jonny mash
  • Score: -7

6:26pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

Is this some kind of a joke? A 3 year old is neglected by his parents or guardians and left to wander into a water feature so they shut the whole thing down? Pandering to the ignoramus again to the detriment of the sensible.

Thank God Mr Ulsalan was there to step in but people should look after their kids.
Is this some kind of a joke? A 3 year old is neglected by his parents or guardians and left to wander into a water feature so they shut the whole thing down? Pandering to the ignoramus again to the detriment of the sensible. Thank God Mr Ulsalan was there to step in but people should look after their kids. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 47

9:17pm Wed 25 Jun 14

myopinioncounts says...

Yes, and why not shut ALL roads to traffic (including cycles) in case a parent allows their child to wander into the road. WAKE UP parents/carers and make sure YOU are aware of where your children are!
Yes, and why not shut ALL roads to traffic (including cycles) in case a parent allows their child to wander into the road. WAKE UP parents/carers and make sure YOU are aware of where your children are! myopinioncounts
  • Score: 37

12:11am Thu 26 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

myopinioncounts wrote:
Yes, and why not shut ALL roads to traffic (including cycles) in case a parent allows their child to wander into the road. WAKE UP parents/carers and make sure YOU are aware of where your children are!
Waltham Forest council said the incident was a “one-off”.


If it is a 'one off' why close it?
[quote][p][bold]myopinioncounts[/bold] wrote: Yes, and why not shut ALL roads to traffic (including cycles) in case a parent allows their child to wander into the road. WAKE UP parents/carers and make sure YOU are aware of where your children are![/p][/quote]Waltham Forest council said the incident was a “one-off”. If it is a 'one off' why close it? Villagecranberry
  • Score: 15

7:26am Thu 26 Jun 14

Silent Majority 2009 says...

This fountain has been around since the 1930s. In 2000 it was refurbished and has been looking magnificent.. Last year further improvements were made by adding lighting which was unaffordable in 2000. In the last few weeks the fountain has been switched off for no obvious reason. The fountains in Wood Street Plaza are also not working. Do we now understand that due to Health and Safety no water features are allowed. Is this going to be the way forward for the Robbins regime - no one is to be responsible for their own actions and we are to all suffer because some parent could not be bothered to look after their child. Save us from this ridiculous situation and refill the pond and get the fountains running again. I have an 8 month old grand child and are well aware of the dangers life throws up!!
This fountain has been around since the 1930s. In 2000 it was refurbished and has been looking magnificent.. Last year further improvements were made by adding lighting which was unaffordable in 2000. In the last few weeks the fountain has been switched off for no obvious reason. The fountains in Wood Street Plaza are also not working. Do we now understand that due to Health and Safety no water features are allowed. Is this going to be the way forward for the Robbins regime - no one is to be responsible for their own actions and we are to all suffer because some parent could not be bothered to look after their child. Save us from this ridiculous situation and refill the pond and get the fountains running again. I have an 8 month old grand child and are well aware of the dangers life throws up!! Silent Majority 2009
  • Score: 26

8:51am Thu 26 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

Silent Majority 2009 wrote:
This fountain has been around since the 1930s. In 2000 it was refurbished and has been looking magnificent.. Last year further improvements were made by adding lighting which was unaffordable in 2000. In the last few weeks the fountain has been switched off for no obvious reason. The fountains in Wood Street Plaza are also not working. Do we now understand that due to Health and Safety no water features are allowed. Is this going to be the way forward for the Robbins regime - no one is to be responsible for their own actions and we are to all suffer because some parent could not be bothered to look after their child. Save us from this ridiculous situation and refill the pond and get the fountains running again. I have an 8 month old grand child and are well aware of the dangers life throws up!!
By all accounts they are in the process of ripping up that expensive water feature in the plaza as are going to build flats or redevelop the entire square which is further evidence of this incompetent wasteful administration.
[quote][p][bold]Silent Majority 2009[/bold] wrote: This fountain has been around since the 1930s. In 2000 it was refurbished and has been looking magnificent.. Last year further improvements were made by adding lighting which was unaffordable in 2000. In the last few weeks the fountain has been switched off for no obvious reason. The fountains in Wood Street Plaza are also not working. Do we now understand that due to Health and Safety no water features are allowed. Is this going to be the way forward for the Robbins regime - no one is to be responsible for their own actions and we are to all suffer because some parent could not be bothered to look after their child. Save us from this ridiculous situation and refill the pond and get the fountains running again. I have an 8 month old grand child and are well aware of the dangers life throws up!![/p][/quote]By all accounts they are in the process of ripping up that expensive water feature in the plaza as are going to build flats or redevelop the entire square which is further evidence of this incompetent wasteful administration. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 9

10:48am Thu 26 Jun 14

everoptimistic says...

My goodness! I find myself agreeing with Cranberry for once. Must be Thursday.
My goodness! I find myself agreeing with Cranberry for once. Must be Thursday. everoptimistic
  • Score: 10

12:23pm Thu 26 Jun 14

the dame says...

Totally agree with most of the above comments. Absolute over-reaction by the Council. The responsibility for a child of three lies purely with the parents. The rest of the borough should not be penalised. The fountain should be refilled at the earliest possibility.
Totally agree with most of the above comments. Absolute over-reaction by the Council. The responsibility for a child of three lies purely with the parents. The rest of the borough should not be penalised. The fountain should be refilled at the earliest possibility. the dame
  • Score: 19

5:04pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Thunderbird4 says...

Agree with all.

When I was about two years old, my mum let me go and look at the fountain in the grounds of Chingford Laundry, on Chingford Green, while she chatted with someone, a few feet away. I fell in. A bit scary for me, but she was there very quickly to get me out, so she was aware.

A fountain is a wondrous sight for a child, draining it penalises the majority of sensible parents.
Agree with all. When I was about two years old, my mum let me go and look at the fountain in the grounds of Chingford Laundry, on Chingford Green, while she chatted with someone, a few feet away. I fell in. A bit scary for me, but she was there very quickly to get me out, so she was aware. A fountain is a wondrous sight for a child, draining it penalises the majority of sensible parents. Thunderbird4
  • Score: 13

12:07am Fri 27 Jun 14

Jenny highams park says...

The fountain at Chingford mount which cost a huge amount to build has also been emptied and filled with plants ( pretty but totally ridiculous, it's clearly a fountain!) what are the council thinking???? I have a one year old, it's my job to supervise her. What next are we going to fill in all the lakes? Ban ponds? What about puddles and sinks!!!! Thank goodness we don't live near the sea!
The fountain at Chingford mount which cost a huge amount to build has also been emptied and filled with plants ( pretty but totally ridiculous, it's clearly a fountain!) what are the council thinking???? I have a one year old, it's my job to supervise her. What next are we going to fill in all the lakes? Ban ponds? What about puddles and sinks!!!! Thank goodness we don't live near the sea! Jenny highams park
  • Score: 16

8:47pm Fri 27 Jun 14

mdj says...

Well done, that man; but if the Council feel they have to drain a fountain to prevent accidents, what will they do with the much deeper pool where he works?
Well done, that man; but if the Council feel they have to drain a fountain to prevent accidents, what will they do with the much deeper pool where he works? mdj
  • Score: 9

12:32am Mon 30 Jun 14

faro0485 says...

That fountain was filled with chlorine and a health hazard anyway. Would have been better if it was a natural pond with fish in it and fenced off as some people had been using it as a paddling pool for their kids.
That fountain was filled with chlorine and a health hazard anyway. Would have been better if it was a natural pond with fish in it and fenced off as some people had been using it as a paddling pool for their kids. faro0485
  • Score: -7

11:58am Mon 30 Jun 14

mdj says...

Well, it's certainly fenced off now, with big ugly red plastic barriers around the empty dish. It looks ridiculous.

How long will this panic last? Will the road outside the town hall be closed to traffic, which is a much greater hazard to children?
Well, it's certainly fenced off now, with big ugly red plastic barriers around the empty dish. It looks ridiculous. How long will this panic last? Will the road outside the town hall be closed to traffic, which is a much greater hazard to children? mdj
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree