Toddler drowns in hotel pool in Ras Al Khaimah

Boy’s father says there was no lifeguard on duty

The Emirati toddler who drowned in the swimming pool of a hotel in Ras Al Khaimah on Saturday. Photo: Marwan Salim
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An Emirati toddler drowned in the swimming pool of a hotel in Ras Al Khaimah on Saturday.

The details of the incident are not known as police are still investigating, and it also remains unclear whether a lifeguard was present or how the boy, 2, was able to gain access to the pool late at night.

The National has not named the hotel as the investigation is ongoing.

The child’s father, Marwan Salim, 28, said the boy was with his mother and sister, 4, when the incident happened.

The mother realised around 11.45pm that her son was nowhere to be found and later saw him lying unconscious in the pool.

“She screamed for help and then jumped into the pool herself despite not knowing how to swim,” said Mr Salim. “She would have drowned if it was not for a hotel guest who jumped [in after her] and pulled her and my son out of the pool.”

Another hotel guest, a nurse, tried to resuscitate the boy, he said.

Mr Salim said his wife called for an ambulance and took the child to Saqr Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

“She called me while in the ambulance and by the time I arrived at the hospital, he was dead.”

“The hotel had placed pool games next to a three-metre deep pool that was left unsupervised with no guards around,” said the father.

“I know it is fate and that he would have died even if he was in my lap but that does not mean the hotel is not at fault for not providing security. I was told three drowning incidents happened at the same hotel recently.”

His wife, who is from Egypt, is in a state of shock and is being comforted by her family.

“Her mother and sisters flew in from Egypt to support her. I am hiring a lawyer to sue the hotel, not for compensation. I will not settle for less until it amends its safety and security measures.”

In December, an Emirati boy, 4, and the family’s Ethiopian helper, 23, drowned in the pool of another Ras Al Khaimah hotel. There were no lifeguards present.

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Updated: January 18, 2022, 5:49 AM