The parents of a “talented, witty and cuddly” seven-year-old boy who drowned while on holiday in Lanzarote have told an inquest how there were no lifeguards on duty when he was found at the bottom of the swimming pool.
Apollo Badran, from Southsea, Hampshire, was on holiday with his paternal grandmother and aunt and his siblings at the H10 Lanzarote Gardens when he suddenly disappeared on the first day of their trip on May 26 2017.
An inquest at Portsmouth heard that the youngster was spotted a short while later in the deep end of the pool by a fellow guest, a British police officer, and her husband pulled him out.
A nurse, also staying at the hotel, then gave Apollo CPR before he was taken to hospital on Lanzarote before he was later transferred to another hospital on Gran Canaria.
He was placed in an induced coma but died on May 30.
His mother, Annelies Denecker, said they found out what happened in a phone call from Apollo’s grandmother and discovered more through witness statements from other guests.
She said: “All the information we got was that they went to the swimming pool, they were getting ready to go swimming and suddenly Apollo disappeared.”
Ms Denecker said that they began searching the big and small pools when “suddenly they heard shouting”.
She said the guest who found Apollo had said “she came down the slide and went under and thought she saw something and came up and told her husband ‘I think there’s a little boy at the bottom of the pool’ so he jumped in and pulled him out.
“There happened to be a lot of English guests and nurses. They started performing CPR.
“What we have found from all the information is there were no lifeguards to be seen. When they finally arrived 10 minutes later they did not quite know what to do.”
She added: “We do not know if he slipped or he went down the slide.”
A post-mortem examination in the UK found that Apollo died of cardiac arrest.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner David Horsley said the information from the Spanish authorities was “sketchy”.
He said: “The most feasible explanation is that this is some sort dreadful accident that has happened. He has gone into the water. Suddenly, he has not been seen.
“There were supposed to be lifeguards there that weren’t there. That is a matter for the Spanish authorities to taken criminal action if that is a criminal act in Spain.
“If they were meant to be there it’s tragic they weren’t as it could have reversed the situation.”
Ms Denecker and Apollo’s father, Gus Badran, said in a statement: “Losing Apollo has left a permanent vacuum in all our lives. He was a happy, kind boy with the most incredible smile.”