Swimming coach drowns during breath-holding drill in Zhengzhou

Picture courtesy of Mariana Montrazi from pexels.com

A tragedy struck at a swimming pool in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China, when a 25 year old swimming coach drowned while practicing holding his breath underwater. Colleagues filming the session failed to recognise the emergency, continuing to record even as the coach’s condition deteriorated, leading to his eventual death.

On April 26, swimming instructor Li was recorded by his workmates while he practiced breath-holding techniques in the pool. Initially, everything appeared normal, Li signalled OK with his hand before submerging. However, within minutes, signs of distress became evident.

Li’s body flipped from prone to supine, and bubbles started to emerge around his nose and mouth, indicating breathing difficulties. Despite his attempts to resurface for air, he eventually sank to the bottom of the pool.

Shockingly, those filming did not perceive any irregularities and continued filming even as Li descended helplessly to the pool floor. It was only when another gym client realised something was amiss that an attempt was made to rescue Li.

Following the client’s lead, other staff members finally intervened. Li was pulled out of the water unresponsive and subsequently pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital.

Li’s sister shared the harrowing footage online, questioning why the onlookers failed to act sooner. She pointed out that after three minutes of breath-holding, her brother was struggling, with bubbles bursting at the surface and his movements indicating a desperate fight for survival. Yet, those nearby remained indifferent, chatting and laughing, even as he lay motionless at the bottom of the pool.

Following the incident, other staff members became aware of the issue and tried to get Li’s attention but to no avail, and still, no immediate aid was provided. Nearly 20 minutes passed before an ambulance arrived, by which time the window of opportunity to save Li had closed.

Li’s sister argued that if the gym had proper first aid measures and timely intervention, her brother’s life could have been saved. Since the tragedy, the gym’s management has yet to reach out to Li’s family, reported Sanook.

China NewsWorld News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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