TRAGIC ACCIDENTS

Civil Guard opens investigation into death of British family in Costa del Sol

A father and his two children drowned in the pool of a resort in Mijas in the south of Spain

The pool where the three family members died.
The pool where the three family members died.JON NAZCA / REUTERS

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The Civil Guard has opened an investigation into the deaths of three members of a British family, who drowned on Tuesday while on vacation in Mijas, on the Costa del Sol in the south of Spain.

The family was staying at the upscale Club La Costa World for the Christmas holidays when the accident happened. According to witnesses, at around 1.30pm on Tuesday, the nine-year-old girl was having difficulties getting out of the resort swimming pool. The 53-year-old father and 16-year-old son jumped in the pool to save the girl, but drowned in the attempt.

This was a tragic accident which has left everyone surrounding the incident in shock

Club La Costa World

According to sources from Club La Costa World, several staff members rushed to the pool when they heard the scream for help. They quickly performed CPR, and with the help of the resort’s doctor used defibrillators to revive the family, but were unable to save them.

Sources close to the investigation told the Spanish news agency EFE that the staff member who removed the three bodies also had trouble getting out of the pool. The mother and a third sibling, who were in the room at the time, required psychological treatment. The family had been planning on staying at the resort from December 21 to 28.

The Civil Guard has opened an investigation to clarify the cause of death, although Civil Guard sources say that they will not know anything for certain until an autopsy is done and the pool maintenance reviewed.

“The circumstances are strange,” said specialists from emergency services, who don’t understand how the three family members could drown at the same.

One theory is that there was a problem with the pool filter. But the management of the resort has denied any negligence and maintains that there is “no problem” with the pool. “It is totally fit for swimming,” said sources from Club La Costa World. The company has also opened an internal investigation into the deaths.

The circumstances are strange

Emergency services team

When members of the Civil Guard’s Special Subaquatic Group (GEAS) arrived at the scene on Tuesday, they tested the filters of the motor and checked whether clothing from one of the victims had been caught in it. They also took samples of the water for analysis.

There were no lifeguards on duty at the time of the deaths. Indeed, the pool is not frequently used because the resort has another which is undercover.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the owner of Club La Costa World said: “This was a tragic accident which has left everyone surrounding the incident in shock.”

The company said that the Civil Guard “found no concerns relating to the pool in question or procedures in place,” and said that they were given permission to reopen the pool.

“Naturally, our primary concern remains the care and support of the remaining family members,” the statement ended.

English version by Melissa Kitson.