Girl, 6, dies after mishap during swimming lesson
She was in a class of five when the incident happened at Kallang Basin Swimming Complex on Dec 20
A six-year-old girl died three weeks after she was found unconscious in the water during a swimming lesson at the Kallang Basin Swimming Complex.
The girl, who had been taking swimming lessons for a year, spent 20 days in hospital before she died on Tuesday.
Her father, who is in the wafer fabrication industry and who wanted to be known only as Mr Ler, told The New Paper his daughter was in a class of five during the Dec 20 incident, which happened around 7pm at the public swimming pool.
He added that his wife was the first to notice that their daughter was missing. She was later found floating in the water and unconscious.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force confirmed that it was alerted to the "case of drowning" at 7.21pm on Dec 20.
An ambulance took the girl to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and she was later moved to KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
Police are investigating the cause of the unnatural death.
At the girl's wake yesterday, Mr Ler, 50, said of the couple's only child: "She was a very lively girl and loved playing with water."
She would have been in Primary 1 this year.
"She was really excited. We had everything prepared for her too," said Mr Ler.
According to a report by Shin Min Daily News, the girl's coach, who is in his 50s, was giving one-on-one instruction when the incident happened.
The girl was believed to be waiting for her turn.
TNP understands that the coach's pool usage permit, which allows him to teach in all public swimming facilities under Sport Singapore, has been suspended.
Although Mr Ler and his family are unsure as to why their daughter, who was 1m-tall, could have a mishap in the 0.9-metre pool, they do not want to point fingers.
He said: "What's done is done. She is gone and there is nothing that will bring her back.
"We just hope this can be a lesson to other parents to be more cautious."
Mr Ler said his daughter will be cremated today with all of her favourite toys, including a doll that was placed beside her in the coffin.
"We are giving her everything she loves to take with her," he said.
Swim coach Tan Jia Nian, 32, founder of Super Swimmies, a swim school targeted at children, said it is possible for children who are taller than the depth of the pool to drown.
"Children might not be comfortable with buoyancy yet, so unlike adults who find it easy to stand, when they fall, they might find it hard to regain balance," he said.
"Drowning takes only 20 to 30 seconds, it is so fast. So when teaching kids, you really cannot take your eyes off them."
He advises parents to be in the pool with their child during swimming lessons, and to always ensure that their child is within arm's reach.