A month after a 12-year-old boy drowned while learning to swim at a club on Mira Road, the police on Tuesday booked an instructor and two lifeguards for failing to spot the boy drowning.
The deceased, Smit Thigale, a Class 7 student, who lived in Shanti Park, Mira Road, had enrolled for swimming classes at DP Club in the same locality. The month-long classes between 6 pm and 7 pm under coach Dimple Bidkar (45) had started on May 12.
On June 5, just a week before they were to end, Smit’s mother Surekha, who accompanied him each day, suddenly could not see him anywhere in the pool.
The police said that she looked in the club’s bathrooms but could not find him there. Other swimmers then alerted her that Smit was motionless in the water and pulled him out with the help of lifeguards.
Bidkar and Surekha rushed Smit to Bhaktivedanta Hospital and Research Institute closeby. At 7.20 pm, doctors declared Smit dead after he could not be revived.
While the police initially registered a case of accidental death, investigations revealed that the club did not have manual resuscitators known as ambu bags, oxygen cylinders and Shephred Hooks on the premises, which are essential in rescuing and reviving drowning swimmers. While the hooks are used to quickly fish a drowning swimmer out of the water, ambu bags are used to provide ventilation when a person stops breathing after struggling in the water.
The lifeguards, Vivek Yadav (27) and Atul Babar (34), were also found not to have tied a fibre float around Smit’s waist as required for those learning to swim in order to prevent them from drowning.
“The accused had made no provisions to ensure the safety of the deceased or of other swimmers. They also did not keep a watch on the boy or notice that he was drowning. We have booked them for causing death due to negligence and issued them notices to surrender,” said Inspector Shekhar Dombe.