20-year-old man jumps into pool, dies

·4 min read

WAS the 20-year-old man who drowned in a swimming pool in Minglanilla town in Cebu on Wednesday afternoon, July 13, 2022, destined to die on that day?

The 20-year-old victim identified as Claire Remocaldo from Barangay Ylaya, Carcar City, southern Cebu, tried to keep afloat with his both hands after he jumped into the eight-foot portion of the swimming pool but his fellow employees, about four of them, who were standing on the same pool with a depth of four feet, as well as the resort's lifeguard, did not notice him.

Remocaldo and his fellow workers were attending a team building activity when the incident happened.

READ: Minglanilla resort suspended after drowning incident

Wendell Sardoval, one of the lifeguards of Circa La Playa resort in Barangay Tungkil, Minglanilla where the victim drowned, denied reports that there were no lifeguards on duty at the time of the incident.

He said he was sitting in front of the swimming pool while eating. He said the victim's three fellow workers were talking at that side of the pool with a depth of four feet and soon after another one joined them.

Sardoval said that even the four of them did not see Remocaldo pleading for his life.

"Naa ko dinha sa tungod nagkaon unya ang akong mata naa ra gyud sa pool unya ang akong nakit-an kadto ra gyud upat nga nangaligo. Wala gyud mi kakita hasta ang iyang kauban wala sab kakita. Gani katong ni-dive ug una katong makita sa video, wala sab nakakita nga nagkapa-kapa siya," according to Sardoval.

(I was there eating and my eyes were focused on the pool but all I could see were the four boys. We really did not see him. Even the one who dove into the pool ahead of him as shown in the video did not notice him trying to keep his head above the water).

Sardoval said that based on the video taken by a certain Rj Vincada Bacalso that was posted on Facebook, Remocaldo jumped into the pool at 3:51 p.m. and his body was discovered later at 4:16 p.m.

A fellow worker discovered Remocaldo when he accidentally touched his hands while swimming underwater.

He then informed his fellow workers, who then rescued the victim with the help of Sardoval.

Rescuers tried to revive Remocaldo but failed. The victim was brought to a hospital where he was declared dead by attending physician.

Sardoval clarified during an interview with SunStar Cebu that he did not see Remocaldo jump into the pool, contrary to what was shown in the video.

Sardoval said the victim even asked him where the other lifeguards were and he replied that they were in the other pool and the victim smiled.

This made him wondering why he did not see the victim jumping despite the fact that he was facing the pool.

Sardoval said that four lifeguards grouped into two will be assigned in the area each day to watch the resort's two swimming pools.

Another lifeguard, Shane Sorvea, also echoed Sardoval's statements, saying they were unaware that the victim jumped into the swimming pool.

Sorvea felt scared instead when he saw on CCTV that the victim had actually jumped into the water.

It was also in this resort where a three-year-old son of a teacher and a 13-year-old boy drowned in the swimming pool on April 9, 2018 and July 15, 2017, respectively.

Police Major Albart Tare, chief of Minglanilla Police Station, said they are now focusing their investigation on the lifeguards, as there were no lifeguards in Circa La Playa when they arrived in the area to investigate the incident.

"Mao nay among e conduct karon sa among further investigation kay supposedly kon naa tay mga pool business, the owner is responsible to assign someone as lifeguard or watcher sa mga nangaligo. So far sa area, wala mi nakita didto during the conduct of investigation," Tare said.

The Minglanilla police also learned that the victim did not know how to swim.

Tare said they could not yet hold the resort accountable for the incident as the investigation is still ongoing.

Charito Pacaña Delgado, one of the owners of the resort, said they would give financial assistance to the family of the victim.

Her husband Manolo has met with the family of the victim and the staff of the municipality's tourism office on Thursday, July 14, to settle the matter. (BBT, TPT)

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