An Ontario man says it only took minutes for him to lose his wife and young daughter in an apparent drowning at a resort northwest of Toronto this week.
“Just 10 minutes and they are gone,” Yiting Gong of Markham, Ont., told CTV Toronto on Wednesday.
Gong, his 34-year-old wife and their five-year-old daughter were on vacation at Mountain Springs Resort just west of Collingwood, Ont., when tragedy struck on Tuesday evening.
Now the grieving father is questioning why the resort does not have anyone supervising the pool.
“I don’t know why they don’t have a lifeguard.… They should have a lifeguard to save their life,” Gong told CTV Toronto.
Jennifer Grant, a staff member at the resort, said there are clear signs indicating that the pool is unsupervised.
Provincial police said the two victims were transported to an area hospital Tuesday evening, where they were pronounced dead.
OPP Const. Martin Hachey said autopsies were being conducted on Wednesday, and the victims would be identified on Thursday.
Although pool drownings certainly occur, Hachey said they are quite unusual. The investigation to determine the cause of the deaths is still ongoing.
Barbara Byers, the Canadian Lifesaving Society’s public education director, said drownings can happen “in seconds and very quietly.”
In Canada, 423 people died from drowning in 2015, the most recent year available, including 145 people in Ontario, she said.
“There is less than one per cent of the drownings that happen in a public pool where a lifeguard is supervising,” said Byers.
However, private backyard pools are the primary setting where children under five years old usually drown.