A three year old girl has drowned in the swimming pool of the Stellenbosch Fire Department on Tuesday, 24 December 2013. The incident took place around 17:20.
According to Wayne Smith (Acting Fire Chief Officer), the child and her mother are from Paarl and they were visiting the mother’s sister who is a Senior Fire Fighter at the Stellenbosch Municipality Fire Department.
The Senior Fire Fighter is a resident at one of the Fire Department’s houses and they have access to the swimming pool at any time. She and her sisteraccompanied a small group of children to the swimming pool and were sitting on a bench less than 10 meters from the pool.
According to them, the girl (victim) was sitting alongside the pool with her feet dangling in the water and somehow slipped into the water without anyone noticing.
Craig van Reenen, an off-duty Fire Officer discovered the girl floating in the swimming pool and immediately performed CPR on her. Other fire medical officials also quickly responded. They could not recollect for the time that she was under water.
The girl wasrushed to the Stellenbosch Hospital where she was declared dead at approximately 18:50 that evening. Despite all the efforts she could not be saved.
The names of the deceased and the mother are known to the Stellenbosch Municipality, but we are unable to provide them to the media.
“This unforeseen and unfortunate course of events saddened all of us and put a damper on the Christmas spirit and was definitely not taken well by us in the Fire fraternity”, said Wayne Smith.
The Stellenbosch Municipality is greatly saddened by this horrible incident and extends its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.