Girl, 8, drowns in Woodstock municipal pool

Trafalgar Swimming pool in Woodstock

Trafalgar Swimming Pool in Woodstock is closed after an 8-year-old girl drowned there on Sunday.

The municipal pool’s lifeguards were trying to revive another child, a 9-year-old girl, at the time of the drowning, around 3.40pm, says mayoral committee member for community services and health Patricia van der Ross.

“Whilst attending to resuscitation of the first patient, another child was retrieved from the main swimming pool in need of urgent medical attention,” she said.

The lifeguards worked simultaneously in teams, giving CPR to both girls until the paramedics arrived.

“Paramedics took over from the lifeguards on arrival, at approximately 4pm, and continued with CPR on the 8-year-old, but, unfortunately, the girl was declared deceased on site,” said Ms Van der Ross.

The 9-year-old girl had made a full recovery, she said.

The facility, which can accommodate up to 950 people, has a 1.5 metre-deep main pool and 0.5m-deep kiddies’ pool next to a grassed area. According to Ms Van der Ross, the facility was 56% full at the time of the incident. Both girls got into difficulty in the main pool, which is 48m long and 14m wide.

“Five lifeguards were on duty supervising hundreds of patrons recorded at the facility at the time of the incident.”

Both girls had been with friends, swimming together as part of a group of youngsters who had travelled from Delft and Khayelitsha under the supervision of adult guardians, she said.

“A full forensic investigation has been under way since the incident. Working closely with the police, the Department of Labour and all other relevant stakeholders, Trafalgar Swimming Pool is officially closed until further notice.”

Priority had to be given to fully investigating the incident and counselling the dead girl’s family and City staff involved, she said.

“The loss of a life deeply affects all who work tirelessly throughout the years to prepare and prevent fatalities from occurring at beaches and pools.”

The City has asked the public to show consideration for the dead girl’s family and not circulate graphic images and footage of the incident.

Woodstock police station commander Colonel Delvyn Matroos said they were investigating.

Anyone with information about the incident can contact the City’s recreation and parks department at RP.enquiries@capetown.gov.za or call Woodstock police at 021 442 3117.

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