Importance of pool safety: Boy drowns in RWS Hard Rock Hotel pool

Importance of pool safety: Boy drowns in RWS Hard Rock Hotel pool

The seven-year-old's drowning in June was ruled as a misadventure and we are once again reminded as to why pool safety should not be taken for granted.

In June this year, seven-year-old Muhammad Syafizul Danyal Muhammad Shaffie drowned at the Hard Rock Hotel pool after entering the 1.2m section of the pool.  The incident was reported to have been ruled a misadventure.

The Straits Times reports that the 1.15m tall child ventured into the 1.2m section that was in the lifeguards’ blind spot, leading to the unfortunate incident.

Yesterday (Wednesday 16 December), reports say that State Coroner Marvin Bay found Syafizul’s death to be a “sad misadventure”, saying he “would likely have had trouble staying afloat in the 1.2m-deep zone”.

The coroner added that parents and providers of swimming and water play facilities must be vigilant when children are in the water. He added a word of caution, stating that, “Young children are prone to act in an unpredictable manner”.

How it happened

The coroner’s court was reported to have heard that Syafizul and his brothers — aged 8 and 9 — were at the hotel with their grandmother. She took her grandchild to the pool and stay in the 0.85m deep area before moving off to the sun deck area.

At approximately 6pm, two hotel guests spotted Syafizul in the pool, facing downwards and not moving. Bubbles were seen to be coming from his mouth by the guests.

Around five minutes later, seeing him still motionless, one of them proceeded to dip her face in the pool to take a look. Seeing that his eyes were closed and he did not respond to her tapping of his head, the two guests called for help and tried to pull him out of the pool.

Two lifeguards attempted to revive him by performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Ambulance paramedics arrived at the scene at about 6.10pm, but despite their prompt response, Syafizul could not be revived and passed away at the Singapore General Hospital at around 8.30pm.

It was reported that the hotel had set up barriers indicating changes in depth and hired lifeguards to ensure increased safety for the guests.

While there are no CCTV cameras in order to preserve the guests’ privacy, the hotel has since hired an additional lifeguard, bringing the total amount to three.


The hot weather makes going to the pool an enjoyable activity, but watch out for your kid there!

While water sports and playing at the pool are fun activities for children, we should take note of water/pool safety precautions.

In 2012, a six-year-old drowned in the same pool and just last month, a three-year-old nearly drowned at the Temasek Club swimming pool.

Do learn and observe pool safety for your children, and always watch them closely!

Tell us what additional measures you take to ensure your child’s safety around pools below.

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Written by

Paige Li

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