Coroner: Pool deaths of Chinese students were 'tragic misadventures'

The drowning deaths of two Chinese students at hotels in Singapore in February this year have been ruled as tragic misadventures by the state coroner.
The drowning deaths of two Chinese students at hotels in Singapore in February this year have been ruled as tragic misadventures by the state coroner. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - Drownings in hotel swimming pools are "inherently preventable", State Coroner Marvin Bay said on Tuesday (Aug 11), as he gave his findings on the deaths of two Chinese students in February.

Martial arts student Wu Jintang, 15, a non-swimmer, jumped into the 3m-deep end of Orchard Parade Hotel's pool on Feb 12 after he and his friends ignored instructions to go to their rooms, and signs stating "No lifeguard on duty".

He was later pronounced dead in hospital.

Yao Junjie, 12, also a non-swimmer, had been here on a summer camp on Feb 3 when he got into difficulties in the pool at Hotel Royal on Newton Road. He was rescued by a receptionist and taken to hospital, but died nine days later of pneumonia and brain damage.

The coroner found both deaths to be "tragic misadventures" and advised hotels to consider public swimming pools as the "gold standard" for their design, safety measures and availability of resuscitation equipment such as automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Orchard Parade Hotel has since implemented new safety measures and lifesaving equipment.

Hotel Royal has also told police that it plans to set up a notice board to alert hotel guests of the depth of its pool and the possible risk of drowning.