Until the Guardia Civil deliver their final report on the swimming pool tragedy that claimed three lives on the 24th, there’s only speculation on what caused it.
According to experts in the swimming-pool sector, there are only two ways that this could happen:
The skimmers fail leaving only the bottom outlet functioning which could form a vortex powerful enough to trap somebody against it and making it difficult for anybody else in the pool to get out. This is possible but improbable, even though, the motors on these pools are between three and five horsepower in strength.
The second is that there was no grating over the bottom outlet allowing a child to introduce an arm or leg. The opening is about 30cm in diametre funneling down to 50 or 60mm. This is even more improbable; it would mean that the two other family members drowned attempting to get the victim out, which does not fit in with the description of a third person who dove into the water to help, who explained that he found it very difficult to reach the side against the tug of the water.
According to the Manager of Club La Costa World where it happened, the Guardia Civil, who used a team of divers, told him that they were unable to find anything wrong with the pool, which would indicate that there was no missing or dislodged grating on the bottom outlet.
The Junta is responsible for the rules governing public pools of this size – the club’s pool has a capacity for 89 people – and it does not forbid the filtering system being on whilst the pool is in use – otherwise it would soon go green.
So, there is only the improbable; the skimmer stopped working and all the suction power of a motor of several horsepower went to the bottom outlet during a ‘glitch.’
Editorial comment: the Guardia Civil have given permission today to reopen the pool, which is strange given the circumstances; if it happened once, for unknown reasons, what is to stop it happening again, if there is a glitch fault in the recycling system?
Secondly, this will probably change the rules on lifeguard requirements as this pool did not need to have one due to its size.
News: Mijas, Costa del Sol, Malaga, Andalucia)