A holiday turned into a horrendous experience for a British family from Leeds when their six-year-old daughter almost drowned after getting stuck in a swimming pool filter. A portion of her hair was sucked and ripped off by the filter mechanism.
"This was the worst day of our lives. We are still suffering to come to terms with it all now but also feel incredibly lucky to still have our beautiful, brave little girl," Alex Morgan, the girl's mother said in a recent Facebook post, which was widely reported in the UK press.
She wrote that the tragic incident took place at the H10 Rubicon Palace in the Spanish island of Lanzarote, where the family were holidaying during Easter.
According to Alex, her daughter Darcey was swimming underwater at the hotel's pool that also has a waterfall. The girl's hair got sucked into the waterfall's filter and she was stuck there for more than two minutes before some other holidaymakers rescued her from drowning.
"Darcey was unconscious and had to be given CPR at the poolside. She was taken by ambulance to Arecife Hospital where she underwent X-rays, tests and was under close observation," the mother wrote.
She added that her daughter had low oxygen levels and lots of fluid on her right lung. "Luckily we got to bring Darcey out of hospital the following morning. However, it could have been a completely different ending to our holiday."
Slamming the hotel staff for their insensitivity, the woman wrote that a similar accident happened at the hotel pool just two days ago with a nine-year-old boy. She accused the hotel of dealing with the issue "poorly".
"They firstly tried to say that Darcey had slipped at the poolside, hit her head and knocked herself unconscious before falling into the pool. A large amount of Darcey's hair was taken out of the filter after the incident and the (manager) of the hotel tried to hide this in his pocket. They didn't close the swimming pool, turn off the waterfall and filter or investigate in any way," she wrote in the post.
The mother also accused holiday organising company, FirstChoice, of not keeping their promise of investigating the issue.
First Choice had promised that it was "flying out members of management to the hotel with their health and safety team to fully investigate and make the waterfall/filter safe", but none had arrived at the hotel, Alex said, quoting some of her friends who continued to stay at the hotel.
"We want to make as many people aware of the dangers in swimming pools as we feel so strongly about this. First Choice haven't done anything to investigate this matter, as they promised, so this now leaves us with no choice but to highlight the dangers for everyone going on their family holidays this year.
A FirstChoice spokesperson told the Daily Mail's MailOnline that this was a "one of its kind" incident and they have started "a full and thorough investigation together with relevant external pool experts and our hotel partner".
Denying the mother's allegations, the company said: "We also took immediate action to resolve the issue. At the same time we contacted the family to offer our support, which remains available to them, and we have been back in touch with them directly very recently to update and reassure them on the steps we have taken. We continue to ensure that the health and safety of all of our holidaymakers is our top priority."
IBTimes UK has contacted the hotel for their comments on this incident and will update this story when a response is received.