surinenglish

Judge authorises parallel inquiry called for by the family of Mijas drowning victims

A view of the pool where the man and his two children drowned on Christmas Eve.
A view of the pool where the man and his two children drowned on Christmas Eve. / FERNANDO TORRES
  • A father and his two children drowned at Club La Costa on Christmas Eve and the family refuses to accept the Guardia Civil's findings that their inability to swim was the cause

Just four days after a man and his two children, aged nine and 16, died in a swimming pool in Mijas on Christmas Eve, the lawyer representing the family, Javier Toro, announced that they were calling for a "a parallel investigation", given their surprise that the Guardia Civil had concluded that a lack of ability to swim was the cause of the tragedy.

"Something must have happened," he insisted over and over again, speaking on behalf of the wife and mother of the deceased who had all arrived in Mijas from London on 21 December to spend their Christmas holidays at the Club La Costa resort.

That intent was formalised in a document that Toro presented to a court in Fuengirola on 6 January. Now, in an order dated 21 January, the court accepts the evidence requested by the family and has ordered Club La Costa to facilitate access to an expert team who will carry out inspections on the resort's pools, "closing them to the public during the experts' inspections", according to the court ruling.

The family had requested that an industrial engineer, accompanied by an assistant and a diver, carry out the tests. The objective, they said, was to mainly examine the pool where the events occurred (though the others would be inspected too). The operation of the motors, the suction force of the drains, the shape and slope of the pool and the electrical installations will all be looked at. The engineer will also carry out suction tests, water circulation tests and examine "possible modifications that the pool may have undergone since its construction".

The only survivor of the incident, a 14-year-old girl, told officers at the time that they found themselves being dragged into the deep part (in this case in the middle) and that she found it hard to get out.

The judge has also asked to see the results of the latest inspections carried out by the various authorities and the permit issued by Mijas town hall when the pools were first opened. These should indicate whether it was indeed necessary for there to have been a lifeguard on duty that day. In fact, the mother even said to the Guardia Civil that "if there had been a lifeguard" they would not be talking about "this sad event".

The judge has also ordered Club La Costa to provide the CCTV surveillance footage between 10am and 6pm on the day of the events.