Lifeguards at pool where 4-year-old drowned can’t swim: police

The pool at Taman Herbal Insani. Photo: Handout
The pool at Taman Herbal Insani. Photo: Handout

One would think that the ability to swim is a non-negotiable requirement to becoming a lifeguard, but not at a public pool in Depok, West Java police said, where a four-year-old tragically drowned recently.

The victim, identified by the initials MI, along with the family went for a swim at Taman Herbal Insani in Bojongsari district on Friday. According to reports, at some point MI went from the kiddie pool to the adult pool unnoticed, and jumped into the 1.2 meter deep water.

“The child walked through a barrier separating the kiddie pool and the adult pool, far from anyone’s notice,” the facility’s supervisor Hendro said.

At the time of the incident, the pool had been vacated as the lifeguards — all male — had gone on a break to perform the Friday prayer.

Several visitors then saw MI struggling in the water before alerting staff. A couple of minutes later, the victim was pulled out of the pool, but the child sadly passed away despite the staff’s efforts to resuscitate the victim.

In their investigation into the incident, police say they were shocked to learn that none of Taman Herbal Insani’s eight lifeguards were certified.

“Some can’t even swim. Certification, or any sort of proof that they had conducted lifeguard training do not exist,” Bojongsari Precinct Chief M. Syahronny said.

Police say that the park’s management may be charged with fatal negligence, which carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison under the Criminal Code (KUHP).

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