Teen who drowned could not swim

Teen who drowned could not swim
PHOTO: Wanbao

A schoolboy from China drowned in the deep end of an Orchard Road hotel's swimming pool while 19 of his schoolmates swam obliviously in the shallow section, a coroner's court heard yesterday.

Non-swimmer Wu Jintang, 15, jumped into the 3m-deep part of the 14m-long pool after he and his friends ignored instructions to go back to their rooms.

It took nine minutes before he was spotted by a schoolmate and pulled out. He was pronounced dead in hospital later.

Jintang had been among a group of 26 pupils from a martial arts school in Henan province visiting Singapore on a week-long trip.

They returned from dinner at 9pm on Feb 12 and were told by two trainers accompanying them to return to their rooms at the Orchard Parade Hotel.

However, 20 of them ignored the instruction and headed to the sixth-floor pool soon after.

CCTV footage showed Jintang jumping into the 3m-deep end of the pool just before 10pm, while his schoolmates - many of whom were also non-swimmers - were in the 1.2m-deep part. He was alone at the time and no lifeguards were on duty.

Senior Staff Sergeant Wong Yasong, a police investigation officer, told the court there was no foul play. She played CCTV footage of the drowning, which also showed how a schoolmate peered into the pool from the spot where Jintang had jumped in and saw a boy lying at the bottom.

A minute later, his limp body was pulled out by schoolmates.

Hotel security guards performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him. No electrical shock was administered by an automatic external defibrillator as the machine did not detect any signal from his heart. Paramedics who arrived later continued with the CPR.

Jintang was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital and pronounced dead at 11.10pm.

Senior Staff Sgt Wong said the hotel has since enhanced safety measures at the pool, including having a lifeguard present from 7am to 10pm when the pool is open.

State Coroner Marvin Bay will deliver his findings for the case, together with that for another case - a 12-year-old who drowned in a hotel pool on Aug 11.

amirh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 22, 2015.
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