Alex Morgan, her husband, Gareth Morgan, and their three children were enjoying a family vacation over Easter break when their day at the pool turned into a nightmare.
According to a Facebook post written by Alex, she and her family were vacationing at the H10 Rubicon Palace in Playa Blanca, Spain, when her eldest daughter, six-year-old Darcey, decided to take a dip in the pool.
The pool featured a cool, man-made waterfall. Darcey decided it would be fun to attempt to swim under the waterfall, and Alex didn't see any harm that could come from that.
However, what Alex and Darcey didn't know was that there was a pool drain located directly under the waterfall.
Darcey's long hair got sucked into the drain, leaving her unable to free herself. The six-year-old was trapped under the water for over two minutes before her rescuers ripped her loose.
Alex wrote about the incident on Facebook:
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. Her oxygen levels were low and she has lots of fluid on her right lung.
Luckily, Alex and Gareth were able to leave the hospital with Darcey by their side the following day.
Alex described the harrowing event as “the worst day of [their] lives.”
After Darcey nearly drowned as a result of the pool drain, the resort's management staff allegedly attempted to cover up the incident. The resort claimed Darcey had slipped on the side of the pool before hitting her head and becoming unconscious. When they later found her hair in the drain, the manager tried to hide the hair in his pocket.
Alex said that just two days before her daughter got trapped by the drain, a nine-year-old boy had a similar experience.
The same filter sucked in a nine-year-old boy's swimming shorts as he swam past. It was reported to the lifeguard a total of four times by different holiday makers before the incident with Darcey occurred and neither time was it logged or investigated.
Though this particular incident occurred at a resort pool in Spain, The Zac Foundation reports that drain entrapment can happen to anyone at any time, even while sitting in a hot tub.
According to The Zac Foundation, there are five types of entrapment:
- Hair: Hair becomes entangled in a drain cover.
- Limb: Arms, legs, feet or fingers are stuck in a drain opening.
- Body: A body part, often the torso or bottom, covers a drain and is held down by suction.
- Mechanical: Jewelry, bathing suits or other materials are entangled in a drain cover or pipe.
- Evisceration/disembowelment: Organs or intestines are pulled from the body due to suction of a drain.
Here are some safety tips to help avoid drain entrapment:
- Instruct all swimmers to stay away from drains.
- Do NOT encourage swimmers to use diving toys, which often migrate to drains.
- Tie up long hair.
- Do NOT swim with loose fitting clothing or jewelry.
Pool Safely also points out that it's beneficial for parents to ensure that pools and hot tubs have drain covers in order to prevent these types of incidents.
Alex wrote that she hopes her post on Facebook helps prevent other parents from experiencing the same horror:
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.
Myself and Gareth don't want any other parents/ family members to go through what we experienced that day. We will never get over what happened but if this post can raise some awareness, save someone's life, then we will be happy. We will fight this as much as we can so any suggestions or help on how to escalate it further would be massively appreciated.
According to Fox News, First Choice, the travel group through which the Morgan family booked their vacation, released the following statement in regards to the incident:
We were extremely concerned to hear of this incident – which is the only one of its kind which was reported directly to us in resort – and as soon as we were made aware we started a full and thorough investigation together with relevant external pool experts and our hotel partner.
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.
The resort has not released a statement.
As for Darcey, despite almost losing her life, she is now doing well.