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Police calls for safety precaution of swimming pools to prevent drowning

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has reminded owners of facilities with swimming pool to take the proper precautions and adhere to regulations to ensure the safety of people swimming.

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Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi

The call follows an incident on Monday when two students drowned as they were swimming in a pool at Diane hotel in Nyanza District.

The victims, both male aged 14 and 15 years, were Senior Three students of Ecole Technique St. Peters Igihozo also in Nyanza.

Police said the incident, which occurred at about 3:30pm, was due to negligence of the hotel management that left the pool “unattended and with no one to intervene in real time.”

Preliminary investigations indicate that it took between 10 and 15 minutes before anyone could attend to the rescue alarm caused by two other students, who were resting on the pool-side after swimming.

It was too late to save a life when one of the guests at the hotel came for rescue before any hotel employee could arrive.

The swimming pool attendant was also not around at the time of the incident, with investigations indicating that he had left the hotel hours prior to the incident.

Meanwhile, Police spokesperson for the Southern Province, Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi confirmed that two employees of the hotel have been arrested over the incident.

“We have so far arrested the owner and manager of the hotel, preferably, on charges of involuntary manslaughter arising out of their clumsiness, carelessness, negligence and failure to observe the standard rules or any other lack of precaution and foresight,” IP Kayigi said.

The offence, under articles 156 and 157 of the penal code, is punishable with a term of imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of Rwf5 million, upon conviction.

Similar charges, he added, will also be brought against the third suspect – the pool attendant – who is still on the run.

“It is the sole responsibility for pool owners to take all necessary precautions of ensuring that their pools are in compliance with regulations and that they are aware of the steps they should take to ensure everyone stays safe in the water.”

Under normal circumstances, a pool is supposed to have an attendant to respond to such disasters in real time, and to train new swimmers.

It is said that one of the victims was a learner, who was being taught by his colleagues.

“From the time of opening to closing of the pool on daily basis, there should be someone there. This applies to public and private pools. Never leave children unattended while they are in or near a pool. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floatation devices to prevent such disasters,” IP Kayigi said.


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