Breaking News:Drownings in Spain were “totally preventable” says the man who administered CPR to the victims at Spanish holiday resort

Pool deaths were “preventable”-Josias Fletchman gave CPR at the scene

A man who performed CPR when a British family drowned in a pool at a resort on the Costa del Sol has said more could have been done to prevent the deaths.

Gabriel Diya, 52, his daughter Comfort, nine, and his son Praise-Emmanuel, 16, drowned at the Club La Costa World resort on Christmas Eve.

Josias Fletchman comforted the children’s mother when medics called off attempts to revive her family.

Mr Fletchman, 35, from Manchester, who was on a family holiday at the time, said he first knew something was wrong when a Spanish woman ran into the hotel reception making a “death cry”.

The youth support worker gave CPR to Praise-Emmanuel at the poolside.

Mr Fletchman, who has three children, said the ordeal was “traumatising”.

After medics called off attempts to revive the three family members, Mr Fletchman said he held the hand of Gabriel Diya’s wife, Olubunmi, and prayed with her.

Her lawyers have questioned the thoroughness of the police investigation – and the recommendation to close the case after one week.

Mr Fletchman said he was surprised police had not spoken to him when he was one of the first people at the scene.

“If it was my situation, my family members, I’d want [police] to speak to everybody. I’d want an investigation… well and truly they should be investigating,” He said there were “things that could have been put in place” to prevent what happened.

Mr Fletchman added that a staff member “had to run to the reception” to alert someone and should have had a walkie talkie or another way of raising the alarm. He called this an example of “silly mistakes“.

“I’m not going to sit here and blame anybody, but… if it was my family that it happened to… I’d be raising alarm bells,” he said.

Mr Fletchman said he felt there should have been a lifeguard on duty and that signs indicating the depth of the pool could have been clearer.

“It’s very important for you to have a lifeguard at a pool. A 6ft 6in deep pool,” he said.

“If a lifeguard was there… the dad wouldn’t have had to jump in… a simple thing of paying somebody a standard minimum wage… it’s better to do that and save three lives than not do that.”

Speaking to some local residents in La Cala de Mijas today revealed what everybody actually thinks about the tragedy-it was preventable…

Joe Millbury, on holiday with his two children and wife from Manchester said: “We were all shocked and saddened when we heard what happened, the facts just don’t line up! That poor woman, it’s not right. I would move heaven and earth to find the truth if it was my family.”

Angela Gabriel from Ireland couldn’t wait to tell me that”: They just don’t care,  it’s all about money, I mean it’s a holiday resort full of people and staff, they don’t need a lifeguard? then close the pool off ! The police didn’t even question everybody, they could all swim, the wife said, what on earth could stop them getting out? “

That was just a few of the statements I took this afternoon, some local residents conveyed to me they are almost embarrassed to say they feel it had been a cover up by the authorities and club la Costa from the start: “It’s all to do with damage control and saving the time share industries reputation isn’t it”- a 20 year male resident told me, “ I used to work in timeshare until I realised what they are like, it’s all about the money, they don’t care”

Spanish authorities described the deaths as a freak accident caused by a “lack of expertise” in swimming – adding that there was no accountability on the part of the hotel.


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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla.


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