Edition 1505
15 December 2018
Edition: 1505

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Child pool deaths highlight summer perils

by Carrie-Marie Bratley, in News · 02-08-2018 10:38:00 · 0 Comments

Two children on holiday in Portugal have died after drowning in pools at tourist accommodation, in two separate incidents in as many weeks.

Child pool deaths highlight summer perils

Last weekend a five-year-old British boy died in Portugal after reportedly drowning in a swimming pool.
The youngster was said to have been on holiday with his family at the Amendoeira golf resort near Silves in the Algarve.
According to reports, the boy was pulled from the water at a villa on Saturday afternoon but could not be revived.
It is understood his death is being treated as an accident.
Citing GNR sources, newspaper Diário de Notícias reports the boy had been playing with his two siblings in the pool, but was later spotted floating by his parents after his siblings got out.
The GNR said they were unaware whether there was anyone else in the pool with the children at the time.
It is expected that the Public Prosecutor will investigate the death, which is standard procedure in such incidents.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office confirmed they are providing support for the family of a British child who died in Portugal.
Just a week prior to this tragic incident, a six-year-old Belgian boy died in a pool at a rural tourism estate in Azeitão, Setúbal, after being sucked into a filter.
Only firefighters were able to dislodge him after his arm became stuck at the bottom of the deepest part of the swimming pool.
It is believed the boy, identified as Vic, was underwater at the Arrábida Country Retreat for 15-20 minutes.
The child was rushed to the Dona Estefânia Hospital in Lisbon but succumbed to his injuries.
His parents, who released a lengthy statement on social media last weekend, have asked for an inquiry to be launched into their son’s death. The Public Prosecutor is reportedly investigating.
The family had been travelling round Portugal for 15 days with friends and coming to the end of their holiday when the tragedy occurred.
“Immediately, we all jumped in the water to help him, but it was impossible to release him. We tried it again and again (first times we tried, he was still alive and moving, trying to release himself)… I panicked because it was clear we couldn’t get him out, but we kept on trying”, his parents recall in the heart-wrenching post.
The couple said they called 112 and “got reconnected five times before we had someone on the phone who spoke English”.
Emergency response teams eventually arrived and “broke open the door and turned off the filter system”, before releasing the boy and attempting to revive him. He was revived after 40-45 minutes.
The boy “was transported to Hospital de Dona Estefânia and immediately surrounded with the best care and love by the staff of the paediatric intensive care unit.
“They were clear that Vic was severely injured. They promised to try everything they could to get him back but were not sure if they could and if they could, how he would come out... but he didn’t make it. Saturday, 21st July, an MRI showed that his brain was severely damaged, including his brainstem, and everything showed he was brain-dead. Monday morning, 23rd July, he died a second time in our arms”.
The parents claim the filter was uncovered and “the suction was so strong that he had no chance”.
“[It’s] unbelievable this could happen while a simple cover could have avoided this”, they said, emphasising “we have issued this statement to ensure that a thorough investigation of this case is carried out and that measures will be taken to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family”.
An in-depth report in newspaper Correio da Manhã explains “in Portugal there is no legislation that requires the adoption of safety measures in swimming pools for domestic use, which extends to tourism properties. There are only recommendations. And given that there is no law, there are also no inspections of swimming pools”.

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Edition 1505
15 December 2018
Edition: 1505

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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