AS the world’s attention is centred upon the Spanish swimming pool tragedy which rocked the Costa del Sol, the surviving daughter of the Diya family has spoken out about the deaths of her father and siblings.
In the wake of the Christmas Eve incident, much has been said about the management of the case by the Guardia Civil or how the bosses at Club La Costa World in Malaga’s Fuengirola have handled the fatalities, which has been rife with speculation in the local Spanish press. Although a reasonable reaction, it has however overshadowed how the remaining family members are dealing with such a devastating loss and what we must all remember is the tragic fact that three people sadly lost their lives.
Favour Diya, the 14-year-old girl who watched on as her father, brother and sister died in front of her eyes has provided the first eye witness account of how the tragedy took place during an interview with the Guardia Civil.
Evidently heartbroken, she told police in Spain 48 hours after the event that she came close to suffering the same fate as her deceased family members after ‘sliding’ into the deepest part of the pool. She also recalled the horrific moment she struggled to get out of the water as her brother desperately shouted for help and little Comfort began to drown.
Favour explained how her father, who was close to the poolside with her mother Olubunmi, without hesitation jumped into the water to try and save them while she raced towards a nearby life buoy in a desperate attempt to save her siblings. Describing the events, she said:
“All three of us were going to jump in holding hands but at the last minute I still had my towel wrapped round me and I went to take it off while my brother and sister got in the water before I joined them.
“We’ve normally been in pools where the water starts off being shallow and gets deeper with the deep end being the part furthest from the area where you get in.
“We weren’t aware that the deepest part of the pool was the bit in the middle and my brother and sister went towards that part.
“I realised I was out of my depth soon after I got into the water. I got scared and only managed to get out of the water with some effort because I’m not used to swimming in places where the water is deep and I can’t stand up.
“As I was trying to get out I heard my brother shouting for help and saw my sister was under the water and my brother was struggling to keep his head above water.
“My father who was not in the water quickly took his trousers off and jumped into the water to help my brother and sister.”
Favour also stated that she did not see if her father had managed to reach her brother and sister as she ran to get help and her mother was banging on apartment doors near to the pool. Tragically, when she returned, she said although she had thrown the buoy into the pool that her loved ones were already under the water.
As much speculation is made about the fact that the family members could not swim, mounted by the Guardia Civil’s admission that the deaths were a ‘tragic accident’ that was ‘due to a lack of expertise’, Favour insisted that all of her family could swim.
In a revelation which will add fuel to the fire that there was a problem in the pool, when asked if she could remember ‘any suction or current in the pool’ she said: “The water was moving but I don’t know how to explain it.”
Before the announcement that the case had been closed today (December 31) which sparked a wave of outrage in Spain and from many of those closely following the case, Mrs Diya also insisted that all of the family members could swim and that she thought “something was wrong with the pool”. A family lawyer has also spoken out and called for an independent investigation to be launched as “three people do not die on the same day by chance.”
Although we may sadly never know exactly what led to three people losing their lives at a time which is meant to be filled with festive cheer, it is hoped for the sake of the remaining family members that closure can be given to them in the New Year.