Girl, 6, dies after mishap at Kallang Basin public pool, coach's teaching licence suspended

A 6-year-old girl died in hospital on Tuesday afternoon (Jan 9) after being unconscious for 20 days following a mishap during her lesson at Kallang Basin swimming complex. 

Her grandmother, Madam Lin, 69, told Shin Min Daily News that the girl had been found unconscious by a lifeguard during her swimming lesson in the complex on Dec 20, 2017, at about 7pm. 

During the time of the incident, the girl’s coach was giving one-on-one guidance to a class of five, including the victim.

The girl was believed to have been waiting for her turn in the 0.9m-deep pool.

Madam Lin said:

“We are not trying to assign blame, but we want to know what went wrong. 

“We also hope that her death serves as a reminder to others to be more alert.”

She revealed that her granddaughter liked swimming, but was a little afraid of water.

Thus she was a little slow in picking up the methods.

Madam Lin added that the family was looking forward to her granddaughter starting primary school this year, and the victim was the sole child of her son. 

According to The Straits Times, the coach’s licence to teach at public pools has been suspended. 

In response to media queries, The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it was alerted to the situation at 7.20pm on Dec 20.

An ambulance was dispatched and the girl was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and later moved to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where she subsequently died.

Madam Lin said that her granddaughter’s heart had already stopped beating by the time she was rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and had to rely on a life support machine. 

Despite persevering for 20 days, her granddaughter still passed away in the end. 

A Sport Singapore spokesman said that the organisation has been in touch with the family of the child, and SportsSG, which operates the complex, is aiding the authorities in their investigations. 

The police have classified this incident as a case of unnatural death, and investigations are ongoing.