A four-year old British girl has drowned in a swimming pool whilst on a family holiday to Egypt after slipping, banging her head and then falling into the water.
Skia Watson was staying at the Seagull Beach Resort in Hurghada when the tragedy happened. Her parents have blamed the resort for having only one lifeguard watching the large pool, and for his lack of first aid skills – witnesses say he took Skia out of the pool and gave her to someone else to perform CPR.
The news will further damage Egypt’s tourism sector, which has been rocked by a series of deaths blamed on the negligence of Egyptian hotels and medical workers and exacerbated by the response of Egyptian authorities.
Last year a British couple died within hours of each other at a five-star hotel in Hurghada. They were said to be in perfect health before their holiday.
Their daughter, Kelly Ormerod, said that police suggested to her that her mother had died of grief and that she was forced to sign a statement in Arabic.
Earlier this year a court in the UK heard that they had been exposed to an infectious biological agent or toxic chemicals in their hotel room despite Egyptian authorities previously blaming their deaths on natural causes.
British authorities have not been able to retrieve their medical reports from Egypt, or the details of meetings between the country’s ministers of foreign affairs and tourism, which could help establish the cause of death.
A week later, Kent school teacher Alison Sonnex died during a holiday at the Royal Tulip Hotel in Marsa Alam. Her death was recorded as “heart failure” by Egyptian authorities.
Sonnex’s husband Clive Eversfield told the Daily Mail: “I do not accept that my wife died of natural causes. She was only 54 and fit and healthy – there is no reason why she should have died… I feel like what happened when my wife died is being covered up in some way, as appears to be happening now with this case.”
The Royal Tulip Hotel is part of the Tulip Hotel group owned by the Egyptian Army.
Egypt’s tourism industry, once a huge source of revenue for the North African country, has fallen massively since the 2011 Arab Spring. Human Rights abuses and terror attacks in the country have kept the number of visitors down.
In 2010 almost 15 million tourists visited the country; in 2016 this dropped to 5.4 million before going up to nine million in 2018.