Swimming pool death: Lifeguard alerted to woman underwater only after 25 minutes

Swimming pool death: Lifeguard alerted to woman underwater only after 25 minutes

SINGAPORE - The result of a Coronor's inquiry has confirmed that an elderly woman, who was found unconscious in the pool at Jalan Besar Swimming Complex last year, had died from drowning.

The Coroner's report ruled out the possibility that she had suffered a heart attack while swimming, which was what the family of the deceased had believed, Lianhe Wanbao reported. 

According to the Chinese evening daily, the report also revealed that the 76-year-old woman had been underwater for 25 minutes before she was rescued. 

CCTV footage showed Madam Wu Yu Lian entering the pool at about 9.12am on October 1, 2012. Wanbao reported that there were three lifeguards on duty that day, with two stationed beside the pool. 

At about 9.15am, Madam Wu showed signs of distress while swimming, before disappearing underwater about two minutes and 40 seconds later. 

Astonishingly, other members of the public, who swam past Madam Wu, did not notice that she was struggling until 9.39am, when someone notified the lifeguards for help.

According to the report, the lifeguard who responded took another 42 seconds before he jumped into the pool.

Before doing so, he hit the water with his hands repeatedly, before removing his clothes.

After jumping into the water, he took 38 seconds to pull Madam Wu up to the side of the pool.  Madam Wu, who was 1.55m tall, was found in the deepest end, which is 1.8m deep. 

After she was rescued, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was performed on Madam Wu, Wanbao reported.

She was transported to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and pronounced dead at 4.28pm the next day.

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