A BRITISH teenager has drowned in the swimming pool of a Turkish holiday resort while celebrating a family wedding.
The 14-year-old got into difficulty while swimming with his aunt at the all-inclusive Liberty Lara beach hotel on Sunday afternoon.
The teenage boy is thought to have got into difficulty while swimming in the hotel poolCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk
Police are investigating claims the pool was unattended because the lifeguard was on his lunch break – something the hotel firmly denies.
One holidaymaker said the boy was dragged unconscious from the pool by a barman and given CPR before being rushed to hospital.
The onlooker said: “This happened at around 1pm and we heard the lifeguard had gone for his lunch.
“They tried very hard to revive the boy at the side of the pool but it was too late.
“It’s so sad, particularly when you consider they were there for such a happy reason.”
It’s believed the boy and his family were at the 311-room Liberty Lara for a wedding.
A hotel spokesman told The Sun: “It is with a heavy heart that one of our young guests sadly passed away yesterday while swimming with his aunt in our main pool.
“At this moment in time, our prayers and thoughts go out to the family and loved ones who are currently residing in our hotel.
“The sad, tragic loss of a young life is both devastating and shattering for the family, close relatives and loved ones. Out of respect for the family, we would like to refrain from making any comment about the incident until we receive the outcome of the autopsy.”
Asked about claims there was no lifeguard on duty at the time of the incident, the spokesman said it was “categorically untrue”.
He said: “There are CCTV cameras located around the pool area which have been viewed by both the Liberty Lara management and the local police. Lifeguards were on the scene within 30 seconds.
“In accordance with the rules and regulations regarding the lifeguards we have stationed at all of our pools, water slide splash pools, observation tower on the beach and on the pier, when a lifeguard takes a lunch break, another lifeguard will take his or her place.
“We have one additional lifeguard over the numbers required to ensure that the pools are not left unattended when a lifeguard takes a lunch break.”
The five-star rated Liberty Lara boasts five swimming pools, including one with a water slide. It also has a luxury spa, an all-inclusive restaurant and four bars.
Its website tells guests: “At our beach you can immerse yourself in the lap of the alluring, deep blue waters, or you can spend time as you wish just relaxing by the pool.”
The family’s trip was booked through holiday firm Tui.
A spokesman said: “We are aware of the tragic incident at the Liberty Lara in Turkey and our thoughts are with the family.
“Our team at the resort is currently supporting the family and we will continue to assist in whatever way we can.
“The safety and wellbeing of our customers is our primary concern and our dedicated resort team is supporting the authorities and hotel with their investigations.”
The hotel has flatly denied there wasn’t a lifeguard on duty at the timeCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk
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