herald

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Irish boy (4) critical in pool horror on family holiday in Alicante

A rescue helicopter landed on a beach with a special paramedic team to try and save the boy
A rescue helicopter landed on a beach with a special paramedic team to try and save the boy

A young Irish boy is fighting for his life in a Spanish hospital after he was found floating face down in a pool.

Spanish police, a local doctor and a holidaymaker fought for more than an hour to revive the four-year-old, who was discovered at a popular Costa Blanca resort complex near Alicante.

The boy, whose family is from Cork, was in a critical condition in an Alicante hospital last night with his heartbroken family maintaining a vigil by his bedside.

It is unclear how long the boy had been floating in the pool when he was discovered by a man out for a morning swim yesterday.

Horrified

The man initially thought an inflatable toy was floating in the community pool near the Aldeas de Aguamarina complex in Cabo Roig, but was horrified to realise it was a child.

It is unclear whether the boy accidentally fell into the pool or had decided to play in the pool on his own. His family were unaware he had left the apartment after breakfast.

The alarm was raised at around 9am local time when the holidaymaker, who was going for his regular morning swim, dragged the unconscious boy from the pool.

He began emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and shouted for help.

Alicante police from a local Orihuela station were at the scene within minutes and they assisted with CPR. A local GP rushed to the scene from Cabo Roig Medical Centre and resuscitation work continued for more than an hour.

One eyewitness said there were very distressing scenes at the pool complex as emergency services battled to save the boy with distraught family members looking on.

The resort is enormously popular with Irish holidaymakers. A large number of Irish people also live in the area.

Witnesses heard a woman screaming in English "that's my child" as emergency services battled to stabilise the child's condition.

A woman performed CPR on the boy by the poolside.

Local police arrived first and the efforts to resuscitate the boy continued.

A rescue helicopter landed on a nearby beach with a special paramedic team.

They were deployed from Guardamar.

The boy was then airlifted to Alicante General Hospital after being transferred to the beach by ambulance.

Witnesses said medics worked on the boy for a lengthy period of time at the scene in a desperate bid to stabilise his condition.

It was believed the boy had a faint pulse and was breathing with the aid of a respirator as he was airlifted to hospital. The boy is now in a critical condition in the Alicante hospital.

Locals said they were deeply shocked by the accident, with prayers being offered for the recovery of the boy at masses in the resort.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is on standby to provide any consular assistance required.

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