Kuantan, Malaysia


At almost every seaside hotel with a swimming pool there is always Jacuzzi in the vicinity. The warm bubbling water entices all weary travellers to relax in it. Who would have thought this almost cost me my sonís life?

During the year-end school holidays, my family and I went to Kuantan, Malaysia. A small coastal town along the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. We spent two glorious days just relaxing by the pool and building sand castles on the beach. Since it was the monsoon season, the sea was off limits.

My two boys, aged 11 and 8 years respectively were happy just swimming in the pool. Both being strong swimmers, love to dip and dive catching each other. My husband and I always keep a watchful eye on them. We have heard too many horror stories about swimming pools. However, nobody had told us that the Jacuzzi which is roughly 3 feet deep was a potential death trap.

On our final day at the hotel, my sons wanted to play in the Jacuzzi. So I followed them into the Jacuzzi, which was attached to the main pool. There were many smaller children jumping in and out of the Jacuzzi and playing in it.

My sons were playing catch as usual. Suddenly, my 8 year calls out to me saying that his older brother is on the bottom of the Jacuzzi and is not getting up. Sensing nothing amiss, I told him to get up, but he did not respond. Quickly, I rushed to him and try to pull him up but to no avail.

He was stuck to the bottom of the Jacuzzi. I could feel something strong sucking my toe. I screamed for help, and many people jumped in to help. The suction was so strong that it took my husband and 4 men to pull my son off from the bottom of the Jacuzzi.

I watched helplessly as they carried my sonís limp body out of the Jacuzzi. Luckily, there was a doctor and a lifeguard holidaying with their family at the hotel. My son was resuscitated and rushed to a private hospital. He suffered lacerations on his chest and stomach because he had to be pulled from the floor of the Jacuzzi.

In the intensive care unit, my son cried to my husband and I saying that he could have died. We comforted him by saying that he was a hero and that he saved many childrenís lives. If it was not him, one of those smaller children would have got stuck in the suction pump and would have drowned. He did not drown because he had remained calm under water and not panicked.

Under the care of the doctors, my son returned home to Kuala Lumpur 3 days later.

So all of your out there who feel like taking a dip in the Jacuzzi with your children just remember that it almost killed an 11 year old, 158 cm tall boy who weighed more than 50 kilograms and is a strong swimmer. Today, he bears the scars of that frightful day, but is back to swimming, his one true love. However, we will not be visiting that town for a very long time.

W Sandosam

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