A two-year-old girl drowned in a river after wandering away from her mother to feed the ducks, an inquest heard.
Toddler Ruby Tyers visited the riverside in Peterborough city centre with her mum Wendy Gray, who was helping at the Key Feste arts’ festival, last September.
Ruby walked away from her mother to feed the ducks before falling ‘face first’ into the River Nene.
She died in hospital after being pulled from the water.
Andrew Marseden, 36, a local carpet fitter, witnessed the tragedy.
He said: “She was feeding the ducks and fell in face first.
“Mum was helping out disabled kids and near some tents in front of the river where the girl fell in.
“The little girl would have been about 30 feet way.
“It’s not the family’s fault. My kids wander off all the time.”
Mr Marseden said there were aournd 500 people walking around the riverside area, but that no one noticed Ruby had fallen in the river at first.
Ruby’s older step-brother Harrison Hepton, 19, told the inquest that his mother screamed after she was told there was a girl in the river while she worked at the festival.
He described Ruby as a ‘regular’ two-year-old girl who was ‘energetic and curious’.
Harrison visited the scene of the tragedy on Monday to lay a floral tribute to his younger step-sister.
Onlooker Gordon Melvin, 63, said he heard an ‘urgent scream’, and only realised the person in the water was a young child when he saw she was wearing a nappy.
Coroner Simon Milburn ruled that Ruby’s death was a ‘tragic accident’ at Huntingdon Law Court.
Mr Milburn offered ‘sincere condolences’ to the toddler’s family and said it was ‘difficult for any of us to imagine how hard this has been’.
A post-mortem examination found that Ruby died after suffering pneumonia from a cardiac arrest after she was submerged in the cold water.