herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

6-year-old 'critical' after rescue from island holiday pool

Gozo is renowned for scenery
Gozo is renowned for scenery

A six-year-old Irish girl is in a serious condition in hospital after getting into difficulty in a swimming pool in Malta.

The child was taken from the pool by family members, who called the emergency services and administered first aid while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. The incident happened at a private property on the island of Gozo. The family were holidaying at the property in the Ghajnsielem region of the island.

A police spokesman said yesterday the child was taken to Gozo General Hospital in a "serious" condition.

The Malta Police Force added in a statement: "Preliminary investigations by the Gozo Police revealed that at about 17.30hrs the girl had found herself in difficulty while swimming in a pool.

"She was given first aid by family members until an ambulance arrived on site and conveyed her to the Gozo General Hospital."

A police spokeswoman said the child was in a critical condition and currently in intensive care. Later, a police spokesman said the Irish girl was in a stable condition.

"A magisterial inquiry has been appointed into the case whilst police investigations are still under way," said a spokesperson.

Experts will be appointed to assist the magisterial inquiry, as is standard practice when a serious accident occurs.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that it is aware of the case and stands ready to provide consular assistance to the family of the six-year-old.

Rural

A senior police officer said later the child was with her parents and other family members when the incident happened.

Gozo is a popular island in the Maltese archipelago and is frequented by snorkellers and divers who enjoy water sports in the Mediterranean.

The island is rural and renowned for its scenery. Many Irish holidaymakers prefer to holiday on the island, which is home to less than 10pc of the population of Malta.

Consequently, it is less developed than the main island.

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