• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Contradictory reports on drowning at Virgin Active

By Khuthala Nandipha

A five-year-old boy was found dead in a swimming pool of a Quigney gym in the East London beachfront on Saturday afternoon. The five-year-old boy had accompanied his parent to work.

According to Mark Field, Managing Director of Virgin Active South Africa, the boy entered the enclosed pool area together with his mother, an employee at the gym. Field emphasizes that mother and son were together when the tragedy unfolded.

“It is with great sadness that Virgin Active confirms the drowning of a child at our East London club. Unfortunately, resuscitation efforts by club staff and the paramedics were unsuccessful. The parent remains responsible for the active supervision of the child at all times while in Virgin Active. Ordinarily, staff members may not bring their children to work,” said Field.

However, according to Colonel Sibongile Soci, the boy was last seen playing in the reception area and it is suspected that he opened the swimming pool gate and went to the pool.

“His lifeless body was seen floating in the pool. No one else was swimming in the pool at the time. He was removed from the pool and he was certified dead by the paramedics,” she said.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and our full support is being offered to the parent at this devastating time. Out of respect for the grieving mother, we will not be divulging any further detail. This was a devastating accident and we would like to afford the child's mother her privacy given the enormity of the loss she is dealing with,” said Virgin Active’s Field.

An inquest docket has been opened by SAPS.


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