The holidays are here, meaning the children are back home for the longest holiday of the year which often involves a lot of traveling and exposure to new risks they may not have necessarily been exposed to in schools.
It is in one of those exposures to the danger that has seen the life of Sharlene end abruptly in a swimming pool at Neptune Beach Paradise in the South Coast on the 25th of October 2019. Sharlene had traveled to Mombasa County in the company of her grandmother among other relatives for a wedding of a relative.
Sharlene was to be in the wedding line up as a flower girl before the tragedy turned into a mourning venue. Sharlene was swimming in the shallow section of the Neptune Beach Paradise swimming pool as the adults sat in the dining room.
As fate would have it, Sharlene swam from the shallow point and slipped to the deep end commonly known as infinity pool which runs from shallow to about 9ft deep without a warning sign in the pool or markings to indicate that one is moving from one level to the other as is in most swimming pools.
Doctors who were guests at the Neptune Beach Paradise hotel rushed to try to resuscitate the young Sharlene but it was too late before an ambulance arrived 30 minutes later and upon rushing her to the nearby Palm Beach hospital, the young girl was pronounced dead.
We could look on who to blame for Sharlene’s death despite knowing that it will not bring her back but in the wisdom of avoiding such tragedies in the future especially during this long holiday.
If the Neptune Beach resort does not have a warning sign clearly stating that they have no lifeguard and if one is swimming, then it is at the own risk, then the resort will be held liable for Charlene’s death.
The Neptune Beach Resort pool has no markings to show one when they are swimming from the shallow to deep end which makes it an obvious hazard for most swimming beginners especially those that cannot swim comfortably with their head off the water as it is difficult to hold one’s breath for too long.
Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7 percent of all injury-related deaths.
There are an estimated 360 000 deaths every year due to drowning across the World with children between the ages of 1-14 years of age being at most risk followed by males as they are said to be at most exposure to water.
Each and every public or private swimming pool ought to have clear markings to guide a swimmer according to their abilities in the water and a standby life guide in case of any emergencies.
As most of you settle down to choose holiday destinations that will give access to a swimming pool, a river or even the ocean, be sure to take extra care of yourselves and most importantly to watch over the young ones around you whether yours or not.
As family and friends of Sharlene prepare to give her a sendoff, her parents mourn a double tragedy, just weeks since they lost their other seven weeks baby, as Neptune Beach Resort is yet to take any form of responsibility on their side and have decided it’s business as usual for them.
The question remains, how many will it take for the authorities to ensure that the set requirements for a swimming pool are adhered to, to the letter and hefty consequences implemented to ensure life is protected?