British Father and 2 of His Children Drown in Spain on Christmas Eve

December 27, 2019 Updated: December 27, 2019
FONT BFONT SText size

Three members of a British family died in a resort swimming pool on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 24 on the Costa del Sol in Spain.

According to the Spanish news reports on Thursday, a member of the family told police that none of the three drowned persons could swim, AP reports.

Officer Paco González, a Civil Guard union spokesman, said earlier that the results of the autopsy examination revealed that all three victims of the tragedy died by drowning.

The autopsy results also showed none of the three victims had bruises or suffered intoxication. Investigations are ongoing to find out the cause of their drowning.

A British news report said that Gabriel Diya, the 52-year-old father, and his 16- year-old son Praise-Emmanuel Diya, jumped into the pool to rescue Comfort Diya, the nine-year-old daughter when she got into difficulties in the water.

The children’s mother Olubunmi, 49, and sibling Favour, 14, had also been in the water moments before the drowning. They witnessed the tragic scenes. 

BBC reports that holiday resort workers also tried to do resuscitation, but their efforts were not helpful. The emergency doctors arrived later, but they could not help them either.

Despite the initial speculation that the suction system of the pool might be problematic—turning the pool into a trap for all three victims, Spanish police have allowed the pool to reopen, reports said.  

Gabriel Diya was a pastor and led Open Heavens in Charlton, south-east London, which is said to be part of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).

The UK central office of the RCCG on Wednesday wrote on Facebook, extending its condolences to the family and friends of Diya, and that the death of Diya and his two children was a “tragic accident.”

The Diya family lived in south-east London for the past almost 10 years, and they were a “very religious, very friendly, very humble” people, a neighbor said to the BBC.

BBC also said Club La CostaWorld Resorts had extended its “heartfelt condolences” to the widowed wife and her surviving daughter. Resort management was helping authorities to proceed with their investigation into the deaths of the three victims.

Spanish police said they would keep investigating all the factors that might have caused the deaths of the father and his two children.