Hotel pools warning as British toddler drowns on holiday in Spain

Ruth Doherty
Hotel pools warning as British toddler drowns on holiday in Spain
Hotel pools warning as British toddler drowns on holiday in Spain

Stock photo, Costa Brava: PA

The devastated parents of a three-year-old British boy who drowned in a hotel pool in Spain have warned of the dangers of taking your eyes off your children near water 'for just a second'.

Derek and Stella Bryce told how they did just that - and it was enough time for little Ewan to fall into the pool at their apartment complex.

Derek and Stella and their three young children were nearing the end of a two-week break at the Calle Bahamas apartment complex in Orihuela, on the Costa Blanca, when tragedy struck during a poolside birthday party.

Throughout the holiday, they had made sure Ewan wore a life jacket when he was anywhere near the pool.

But, for the first time, he was allowed to take it off so he could eat birthday cake and play with his toy car beside his mum and dad.

Derek and Stella spoke to the Daily Record, where Derek once worked as a designer, about the tragedy, and how they battled to save their son: 'We spent two weeks constantly putting Ewan's life jacket on. He was never without it when anywhere near a pool.

'He was never allowed in the pool on his own.

'On Friday, two days before we were due to fly home, we were invited to a birthday party at the poolside.

'We went to the pool around 6pm. It was very busy with children and parents. Everyone was happy. Ewan had worn his life jacket all day but we let him take it off so he could eat his cake because they can be quite bulky and awkward.

'He was playing with his wee toy car right next to us and we checked on him all the time to make sure he was safe.

'We turned away to talk to our friends for a split second, then turned back around and he wasn't there. He was in the pool. It only took a matter of seconds. It was so fast, so quick.
We don't know what happened or how he got in the pool.

'Stella jumped in and got him out of the pool and I gave him CPR to revive him. There was a nurse who helped resuscitate Ewan and we worked on him as we waited for the ambulance.'

Ewan was taken to Torrevieja town hospital and transferred to Alicante General Hospital's intensive care unit around midnight on Friday.

He was put on a ventilator to keep him alive while medical staff ran tests.

But on Sunday doctors broke the news that there was no hope for their son.

Derek said: 'Doctors said he had suffered so much trauma that he was brain-dead and there was nothing they could do.

'We came to the decision with the hospital to donate Ewan's organs to a baby in Madrid.

'We think perhaps helping another family will help us cope with this terrible situation.'

Derek paid tribute to Ewan, saying: 'I don't know how we are going to cope without him. We all loved him so much.

'He was a very clever, bright wee boy. He was cheeky and funny and had a great sense of humour.'

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