A photo of Madeleine McCann, taken days before she disappeared, has been published for the first time.

McCann, centre, can be seen playing by a multicoloured swimming pool at the Praia da Luz kids’ club in Portugal. The three-year-old went missing from the same holiday resort on the 3 May 2007. 

The image surfaced in the new Netflix eight-part documentary, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, which was released today (15 March). 

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A new photograph of Madeleine McCann (centre) (Netflix)

British tourist Neil Berry, who was also staying at the Ocean Club when McCann went missing, took the photograph. His daughter, Jessica, became friends with McCann on the holiday. 

“They were of a similar age and they became thick as thieves,” Berry says on the documentary. 

“I remember they had been out sailing, which I thought was quite brave of the kids’ club that they took them out on the sea. They were together in the boat.

“Jessie’s only real recollection of the holiday was Jess lost her straw summer hat in the sea and Madeleine launching herself into the sea to recover it for her — much to the alarm of the kids’ club staff who swiftly grabbed her and dragged her back into the boat.”

Gerry and Kate McCann, the parents of Madeleine, condemned the series earlier this week, saying the series could potentially “hinder” the ongoing police investigation. 

“We are aware that Netflix are planning to screen a documentary in March 2019 about Madeleine’s disappearance,” the family said in a statement.

“The production company told us that they were making the documentary and asked us to participate.

“We did not see – and still do not see – how this programme will help the search for Madeleine and, particularly given there is an active police investigation, it could potentially hinder it.

“Consequently, our views and preferences are not reflected in the programme. We will not be making any further statements or giving interviews regarding this programme.”

The McCann family has previously pledged to never give up looking for their missing daughter. After an initial investigation by Portuguese officials came to a standstill, Scotland Yard launched their own, which remains ongoing as another £150,000 was granted to the probe last November.

A Netflix spokesperson said of the documentary series: “By blending new interviews with more than 40 contributors, 120 hour of interviews, archival news footage and reenactments, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann goes beyond the headlines and takes a unique look at the facts of the case as well as its impact on media standards around the world.”

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