Hotel general manager drowns in condo pool, believed to have held her breath for too long

A 50-year-old woman was swimming at her condominium but did not resurface from the water, and was subsequently pronounced dead after her body was found at the bottom of the pool.

The incident occurred at the victim's home, a condominium at UE Square, on Oct 12 last year. The time was about 7.45pm.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, the pool was 2.5 metres deep.

Investigations revealed that Mdm Wang Xiaohong had told her 20-year-old son that she was going for a swim at around 6pm on the day of the incident, but never returned.

CCTV footage showed how Mdm Wang, the general manager of a hotel, had been walking and swimming in the shallow end of the pool.

Although she was doing the breaststroke, Mdm Wang appeared to be holding her breath underwater the whole time as she was not seen breaking the surface.

Later, when she swam to the deep end of the pool, Mdm Wang was spotted with her head out of the water once, but she quickly went back underwater again.

Not long afterwards, she swung her arms wildly and resurfaced from the water, before going back under. She then became still and sank into the bottom of the pool while face down.

Last Friday (Aug 3), the coroner ruled Mdm Wang's drowning as a tragic misadventure.

Based on the CCTV footage, it was believed that the deceased held her breath the entire time when she was swimming.

It was also speculated that Mdm Wang had overestimated her ability to hold her breath underwater and likely suffered a shallow water blackout.

(Photos: Shallow Water Blackout Prevention)

The coroner added that Mdm Wang's mishap highlighted how she was unaware of the dangers of holding your breath underwater for prolonged periods of time, and advised all swimmers to receive training and education in this aspect.

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