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  • Definition of swimming…..?
  • Premier Icon alpin
    Full Member

    Reading through an article about the father and two kids who drowned in a pool in Spain last week….

    The mother says that all of the family could swim, but the design of the pool led to their drowning. Supposedly the concave design meant that they were “dragged into the middle where the water was deeper, making swimming difficult for them”.

    Something there is wrong; either the design of the pool or the definition of being able to swim.

    #confused

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Full Member

    I’m afraid it’s from the Sun, but…

    He says someone may have turned off skimmer overflows which may have caused a suction vacuum, which pulls things towards it making it virtually impossible to escape from.

    This has been recognised as a hazard and the granddaughter of former USA Secretary of State James Baker died in a similar situation in America.

    Mr Wilson – who consults on swimming pool safety around the world and runs his own Health and Safety company – said: “I have investigated many deaths of children and adults abroad for UK and foreign tour operators including TUI and Thomas Cook.”

    “Due to the traumatic nature of this incident, my company would offer to travel to Spain for the family to carry out a report, free of charge.”

    “In this case it appears from the family statements and witness accounts all to point to an excessive suction vacuum.”

    “I have seen the news reports and images and video of the pool with police divers and the actual pool appears to have been badly designed with just one outlet at the bottom of the pool.”

    “In my experience, this is likely to have been a contributing factor in the deaths.”

    “The daughter appears to have got into trouble along with her father and brother who seem to have been dragged underwater which can be a sign of a huge vacuum.”

    “This is usually caused by human error from turning off the skimmers – an overflow system that takes surplus water away – causing massive suction from the outlet at the bottom of pool during cleaning of pool filters or maintenance.”

    “The pressure of suction and current becomes enormous and when it starts dragging water in the pool towards it there is often no escape unless the pump is turned off manually.”

    “Swimming away from the current becomes very, very difficult if not impossible once it gets you in its grips.”

    “If there had been two outlets the vacuum pressure would have been halved but from what I have seen if you swam near the one vacuum you wouldn’t get away.”

    Premier Icon alpin
    Full Member

    Aha…. Report on the G wasn’t quite as in depth…(no pun intended!)

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Horrendous, made me feel sick when I saw this at first, and still does.

    Poor, poor family. 😔

    Premier Icon Caher
    Full Member

    Water always is pretty risky.
    I consider myself a good swimmer, 3 or 4k a week and swim in the sea.
    Once swam in a normal looking beach, few waves and quite calm but there was a rip tide that kept dragging me out. I stopped fighting it and calmed down and took angled trajectory to the shore and got back in shallow water nearly 500 meters from where I started.

    Premier Icon revs1972
    Free Member

    Having heard various stories in the past regarding pool pumps and accidents / fatalities, why cant there be an emergency stop button located near to the pool ( behind breakable glass etc).

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    why cant there be an emergency stop button located near to the pool ( behind breakable glass etc).

    and someone in attendance

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
    Full Member

    I think part of the issue is that hotel pools tend to be small so have a short shallow end and then a steep incline to a deep end. Swimming pools we’re used to at leisure centres etc have a shallow and lengthy gradient to the deep end.

    When I was 16 on holiday in Ibiza (long before it was the current rave destination so no drugs involved) I stopped about a quarter of a pools length away from the end expecting it to be shallow. It wasn’t, I swallowed a load of pool water and was on the way to drowning- I had started to hallucinate. Luckily a holidaying firefighter saw me floating and rescued me. Due to filling my lungs with a load of chlorinated water I had a few nights in hospital.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    Luckily a holidaying firefighter saw me floating and rescued me

    I think its still the case that most people who drown do so within a few feet of someone who could have helped them – the problem is that someone drowning doesn’t look like you’d expect it to.

    Premier Icon klaus
    Free Member

    There was a lengthy post on Twitter from a swimming pool expert, which I can’t find now, however he concluded that it was unlikely that they drowned due to the pump.

    One point he made was that not only would the pump boy have enough power to pull a person under, but as soon as one had been pulled under and up to the pump inlet, it would not have the power to pull a further 2 people in. Furthermore, if the pump was to blame, they wouldn’t have re opened the pool the next day!

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Full Member

    It’s a very odd and tragic story, that’s for sure. Can’t get my head around it.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    they wouldn’t have re opened the pool the next day

    I, along with everyone else on here, don’t know the full story, but I wouldn’t use this fact as proof of anything.

    Premier Icon poolman
    Free Member

    Tragic event, the filtration pump runs pretty much 24 7 on commercial pools, even if you turned off the outflows at the water surface level and all the water was pumping through the pool bottom it could not hold a person underwater.

    I hate to comment without knowing the facts but noone has mentioned cold water shock, if unheated a spanish pool would be mid to high teens degrees tops. If you jump in you would be in shock pretty quickly, add clothes, inexperience, no lifeguard.

    Premier Icon Caher
    Full Member

    My local pool has no lifeguard. There is warning of this and it’s monitored from the office by one if the attendants, but they’re not always watching. On a Saturday and Sunday you can be the only one there.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    I was amazed to see my local bannatynes had no poolside attendants either, at 50 quid a month for membership.

    Premier Icon avdave2
    Free Member

    Aside from anything else I found the speed at which they reopened the particular pool they drowned in to be incredibly disrespectful and insensitive. I have no idea what happened here but can you imagine staying in the resort and actually going into a pool that 3 people have just drowned in. I’m at a complete loss as to how anyone could think that to open it so soon or to then use it is acceptable.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    I hate to comment without knowing the facts but noone has mentioned cold water shock, if unheated a spanish pool would be mid to high teens degrees tops. If you jump in you would be in shock pretty quickly, add clothes, inexperience, no lifeguard.

    My initial thoughts. Having considered southern mainland spain for some Christmas sun and decided that it would be too cold for swimming either in the med or an unheated outdoor pool, I was surprised to hear about them being an outdoor pool.

    So very, very sad.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Full Member

    poolman – seems to be a number of fairly credible-sounding case reports of drownings and significant soft tissue injuries caused by drains (4 men unable to lift a child off a drain cover, another child losing a couple of feet of intestine down into the system, etc). I’m sure a correctly set-up and running system wouldn’t do this but …

    The whole thing is bizarre and bloody tragic, whatever the cause

    Premier Icon poolman
    Free Member

    Ok thanks, hate to put a downer on things but I think in 2019 there were c 120 drownings in Spain. A lot are heart attacks from sea swimming.

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
    Full Member

    most people who drown do so within a few feet of someone who could have helped them

    True- in my case it was in a packed pool with plenty of people poolside. Some people had seen me waving for help but thought I was waving at someone. It was only the firefighter who saved me that saw my lifeless body floating that acted.

    Apparently the pool was not closed but deserted after I was rushed to hospital.

    The next day there was a scuba lesson in the pool and I was told that people found it disconcerting to see all these divers at the bottom of the pool where I had been the day before!

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