KUWAIT CITY, Dec 11: The death of an Indian school student in the United States of America while on the NASA Educational Trip (Nov 18-23) has been the subject of controversy in Kuwait. After several people contacted the Arab Times to obtain detailed information about the incident, fearing that the school in Kuwait, might “attempts are not being made by the concerned Indian school in Kuwait to suppress the information about the incident silence students and prevent the matter from reaching the media. Alleged photographic evidence which some people claim to have say suggests that the teachers entrusted with the students’ safety failed to assist during the critical moments of the incident.”
The student allegedly drowned on the last day of the tour in the swimming pool of the hotel where the entire group was staying and the death has reportedly been recorded by the US authorities as ‘accidental death by drowning.’ To learn more details about the incident the Arab Times met the school principal who was also part of the tour along with four escorts (two male and two female teachers) to ensure care and guidance were provided to 52 students who were on the tour, gave a detailed insight into what happened on the fateful day.
The principal stated on the last day of the tour some students approached her and “fervently requested” to be permitted to use the hotel swimming pool and being the last day the principal said she relented although she was not very much in favor of the idea. The students, she said, were divided into two separate groups – six girls and nine boys.
The students, the principal added, were instructed in crystal clear words not to use the deep side of the pool which was six feet deep, a statement supported by the other students who were in the pool with at the time of the incident.
Two of the nine male students who eye-witnessed the incident said the victim, identified only as S.J.P., was seen running across the pool and could not for sure say whether SJP slipped and fell since the ground was wet and slippery or he jumped in despite the fact he is the only student who did not know to swim.
According to the students after the ‘fall’, he surfaced once, and after that, he lay at the bottom of the pool. At this point, two other students who were supposedly good swimmers pulled him out in just 3 to 5 minutes. The principal said one of the teachers was by the poolside to keep an eye on the students but everything happened so suddenly and so quickly, “I can only say it was the most unfortunate incident, and I wish it had never happened.”
The other teachers and the principal were immediately informed and all help was provided with the assistance of the hotel staff while the paramedics made a valiant effort to revive the student following which he was shifted to the nearest hospital, the Advent Health Celebration Centre, in Orlando in an ambulance. The principal added, that the depth markings and warnings were boldly displayed outside the Pool for all to see and it is very surprising how this particular 18-year-old student decided to dive in at the 6 feet end of the pool, although fully aware he could not swim, but it will remain a mystery.
In the meantime, the school management and the authorities have left no stone unturned in their relentless efforts to help the family, lavished all care and attention on them by way of financial and emotional succor. The school arranged a US Visa and Travel Tickets including personal expenditure for both parents and the younger brother who traveled on Nov 28, 2023, and also arranged to get complimentary accommodation for the parents at the Wyndham Orlando Resort Hotel.
All arrangements are being coordinated by the management for the repatriation of the student’s remains and his family to India. The male teachers who escorted the Tour stayed back at Wyndham Orlando Resort and Conference Center Celebration Area, Orlando, USA, as instructed by the school management to render all possible assistance locally till the parents reached the USA. They remained there for 9 days, including 3 days after the parents reached Orlando before returning to school in Kuwait on Dec 4, 2023. The school management, the principal, the teaching staff, and the students offer their deepest condolences to the bereaved family.
Special Report by
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