8 Jan, 2020 @ 13:00
2 mins read

Leading expert on swimming pool deaths touches down in Costa del Sol to visit hotel where three Britons drowned on Christmas Eve


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.

POOL EXPERT: Allen Wilson has flown into the Costa del Sol to investigate the swimming pool at Club la Costa World

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.

‘IT STINKS’: Wilson claimed that a fault in the swimming pool could have created a freak suction 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.”

READ MORE: The mother of the Spanish swimming pool victims says her daughter attended swimming lessons ‘one week’ before Costa del Sol holiday

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: [email protected] or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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