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Home Vacation Family TUI holiday turns into nightmare as lifeguards fail to spot child drowning in hotel pool

Family TUI holiday turns into nightmare as lifeguards fail to spot child drowning in hotel pool

by Staff

During a family holiday in the Canary Islands, 10-year-old Emily nearly died after drowning in a hotel pool that had no lifeguards on scene and dodgy oxygen equipement. An off-duty UK paramedic on scene saved her life

The couple booked a holiday to La Palma Princess Hotel, Fuencaliente, Canary Islands with TUI(@mediadrumimages / kaliesharp)

A family holiday turned into a nightmare when their child nearly drowned in the hotel pool – which had no lifeguards on hand.

Special needs assistant Kalie Sharp, 44, and her 51-year-old husband Oscar Sharp have slammed their holiday operator TUI after lifeguards failed to spot their drowning niece, or provide CPR on the scene. The couple also said that shoddy oxygen equipment led to their child “almost dying.”




The couple booked a holiday to La Palma Princess Hotel, Fuencaliente, Canary Islands with TUI. They also brought along their 10-year-old niece Emily Wills and 8-year-old nephew Mason Wills who they live with as a family. On the last day of their trip, on August 31, the family were spending some time at the pool before their flight when Emily suddenly disappeared.

The family looked around the pool for her and were unable to see her, until they saw a shadow under the water. Emily was pulled out of the pool by Kalie and found she wasn’t breathing – which was when holiday-makers started to shout for a lifeguard. Luckily, a UK paramedic, 37-year-old Gemma Louise Brown, was present at the resort and jumped forward to help.

The paramedic saved Emily by giving her CPR and making the one oxygen tank last until paramedics arrived. The 10-year-old had drowned in the pool, suffering from secondary cardiocirculatory arrest and pneumonitis.

She was eventually returned to the UK and after a month was referred to a UK hospital where she was diagnosed with epilepsy. Emily returned to school but the family are still affected by the incident and by the lack of support they received from the hotel and TUI.

Kalie said: “Family time is important as we don’t have much family. After the holiday being delayed due to COVID for three years we were so happy to finally enjoy our holiday. However, the holiday went wrong on the last day. One moment she was swimming, the next we couldn’t see her.

Kalie, Emily and Mason enjoying the pool(@mediadrumimages / kaliesharp)

“We visually searched the pool and next we saw a shadow under the water. It happened so quickly. It was my baby. I pulled her out and she wasn’t breathing. Lifeguards took forever to be seen, even with all the shouting.

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