Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
A four-year-old child drowned in a public swimming pool because all the Muslim lifeguards had left to perform Friday prayers.
The tragic death took place at Taman Herbal Insani park, located in Bojongsari district, Depok, West Java, Indonesia, on Friday, 6th May.
The young victim, identified solely by their initials, M. I., had gone to the park with their family to enjoy a swim.
The youngster was playing in the children’s pool but at one point went over to the 1.2-metre- (3’11”-) deep adult’s pool without anyone noticing and jumped in.
The supervisor of the facility, named in reports solely as Hendro, said: “The child walked through a barrier separating the kiddie pool and the adult pool, far from anyone’s notice.”
At that time, no lifeguards were present, as they had all gone off to gather for the Muslim Friday prayer.
They were not named in reports but were all reportedly male.
Several park goers saw M. I. struggling to stay afloat and alerted staff.
The youngster was pulled from the pool around two minutes later and staff tried to resuscitate them, but, despite their efforts, they died.
A police investigation revealed that all eight lifeguards had been at prayers.
And police were astonished to discover that none of them were qualified and some could not even swim.
Bojongsari Precinct Chief M. Syahronny said: “Some can’t even swim. Certification or any sort of proof that they had conducted lifeguard training do not exist.”
The police said the management of the park faces a charge of fatal negligence, the maximum penalty for which is five years behind bars, according to local law.