CNY holiday tragedy: Boy drowns in hotel pool

CNY holiday tragedy: Boy drowns in hotel pool
TRAGIC: Ong Jing Jie, 12, drowned in a hotel swimming pool in Tanjung Bungah, Penang, during a family holiday.

A holiday trip for a family from Johor turned tragic when their 12-year-old son drowned in a hotel swimming pool in Tanjung Bungah in Penang.

Year Six (equivalent to Primary Six) pupil Ong Jing Jie's body was found in the middle of the pool by his father at about 10.30am on Sunday, reported The Star.

The boy's mother, who declined to be named, said her son, the eldest of four siblings, went for a dip in the pool with his brother and sister and their father.

"I did not follow them as I had to take care of my youngest daughter.

The pool was crowded and no one was aware of what happened until my husband found him missing about 30 minutes later.

"My husband discovered him in the middle of the adult pool and jumped in to save him.

A foreigner tried to resuscitate him but failed," said the woman, who was in tears as she spoke to reporters outside the Penang Hospital mortuary.

She claimed that there was no lifeguard when the incident happened.

"This was our second visit to Penang since the previous trip two years ago.

We chose to stay at the same hotel because it had a lifeguard then.

"We were told by a hotel employee after the incident that the lifeguard was not working due to Chinese New Year," she said.

The family had planned to return to Skudai after arriving on Saturday evening.

Georgetown police spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Mior Faridalathrash Wahid, said the hotel management told police that an employee had warned the boy not to swim in the adult pool but he had ignored the warning.

"A post-mortem revealed that the cause of death was drowning.

His family has agreed to donate his organs," he said.

This article was first published on Feb 24, 2015.
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