4-year-old drowns in swimming pool while mother was on phone

swimming pool, Cyprus

There were no trained lifeguards on duty at the time.

By Web Report

Published: Mon 2 Dec 2019, 10:35 AM

Last updated: Mon 2 Dec 2019, 12:44 PM

A four-year-old British girl, holidaying with her family in Cyprus, drowned in a swimming pool while her mother was attending a phone call.
Mya Piper and her younger brother, Jonah, were walking around an inadequate safety fence near the deeper main swimming pool. Their mother, Lisa, got a phone call and she walked away for a few minutes, only to return and find Mya missing. The mother said she could only see her son around the pool and began frantically searching for Mya.
That's when a man on a first floor balcony at the hotel yelled: 'There is a baby drowning in the pool'. Although a Russian tourist who was beside the pool on a sunbed, leapt and dived into the water to save the girl but she was pronounced dead in hospital.

In a statement to Cypriot police, Lisa from Darlington, said, "My son was just playing just beside me and Mya had armbands. I had a phone call from back home. The phone call was about five minutes and I moved myself a short distance."

According to reports in Daily Mail, the mother got a call from a witness care officer regarding a domestic incident in which her partner, the children's father Dale Ferris, had been arrested and charged. Ferris was not traveling with the family on holiday. Lisa added, "I could say I was distracted by it and I couldn't see, I couldn't see who was near the kids.

Coroner's officer, Dawn Carter, who examined CCTV footage from the poolside and said, "A long fence divides the children's pool from the larger swimming pool but the fence can be accessed from either side so you can just walk around it. I could see the area filled with sunbeds but could see no lifeguards and no way of keeping children out of the bigger pool."

The coroner's officer added, "I saw two figures, two children get out and get into the bigger pool, walking around the fence. Mya's brother Jonah got out of the main pool safely but unseen, Mya slipped to the bottom."

The inquest heard there were no trained lifeguards on duty at the time and owner of the hotel in Cyprus received a suspended prison sentence for breaching safety rules and a significant fine.

The coroner concluded the girl's death was accidental.

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