ONE of the world’s leading experts on swimming pool deaths has flown to Spain to investigate the tragic drownings of three British citizens on Christmas Eve.
Allen Wilson, a health and safety expert who has worked on numerous drowning cases around Europe, arrived on the Costa del Sol yesterday.
He told the Olive Press last night he believed the pool, where British tourists Gabriel Diya, 52 Comfort Diya, nine, and Praise-Emmanuel Diya, 16, died on Christmas Eve, was ‘hazardous’.
He insisted the Club La Costa World (CLC) resort in Fuengirola – which he is set to visit this week – was ‘most likely to blame’ for the shock deaths of the trio.
Wilson claimed the pool’s design with just one floor ‘outlet’ – instead of two – could have created an ‘excessive suction vacuum’ and dragged them under water.
It flies in the face of the Guardia Civil’s official investigation, which concluded the three died as a result of their ‘inability to swim’.
Their controversial report was thrown into jeopardy, however, when mother and wife Olubunmi Diya insisted all three could swim.
Her lawyer, Fuengirola-based Javier Toro, later insisted daughter Comfort had even taken lessons a ‘week before the holiday’.
Toro told the Olive Press this week that ‘many lines of investigation remained open’.
Wilson, however, went further to claim the report done by the police was a ‘cover up’ to protect the Spanish tourist industry, the resort and the tour operators.
“It stinks,” Wilson, who has worked for leading European tour operators on matters of pool safety, told the Olive Press.
“The police say it was safe, but I personally believe they would not have the knowledge, experience or ability to carry out this type of investigation,” added Wilson, a former president of the Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers, who has worked for TUI and Thomas Cook.
He suspects that a drop in water level – reportedly evidenced on pictures after the incident – could have put pool-side skimmers out of action.
This would have concentrated all suction onto one floor drain.
“There should be two floor vents spaced two metres apart, so you never get more than 50% of suction in a freak event,” Wilson said.
“The floor vent looks like a drain in your back garden, so just from the pictures I’m already seeing non-compliance to international standards.”
The trip is being funded by Wilson’s current health and safety firm, Studies in Work.
A spokesperson for CLC said claims made by Toro and the Diya family were ‘directly at odds with the findings of the police report’.
“Exhaustive investigations have confirmed the pool was working normally and there was no malfunction of any kind.
“Our sympathies remain with the family at what we understand must be a stressful and desperately upsetting time for them.”