British toddler who drowned in swimming pool in Spain named

·3-min read
The 19-month-old British boy drowned in a pool in Aigues (www.aigues.esen/tourism)
The 19-month-old British boy drowned in a pool in Aigues (www.aigues.esen/tourism)

A British toddler who drowned in a swimming pool on the Costa Blanca in Spain has been named as Freddie Joseph Briggs.

The 19-month-old boy was pulled out of the water unconscious in the tragedy on Wednesday afternoon at around 6.15pm.

An air ambulance was sent to the area as part of the emergency response but efforts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The tragedy happened at a private pool in Aigues, a village a short drive inland from the coast to the north of Alicante and south west of Benidorm.

The local town hall named the child as they confirmed they would hold three days of mourning.

Aigues Town Hall said on Thursday: “The news of the death yesterday of the little boy Freddie Joseph Briggs has saddened and moved locals living in Aigues.

“As a show of our pain and solidarity with the child’s parents and other relatives, we are declaring three days of mourning starting tomorrow.”

Police have confirmed an investigation, coordinated by a judge at a local court, is ongoing but say there is nothing at this stage pointing to the death being anything other than the result of a tragic accident.

The Civil Guard confirmed the child was British.

It was not immediately clear if the toddler was on holiday with his family or lived in Spain. One unconfirmed local report said the family had recently moved to the area.

A spokesman for a regional government emergency response coordination centre said: “At 6.15pm on Wednesday, we were informed a little boy had been pulled out of a private swimming pool in Aigues.

“We mobilised an air ambulance and a basic life support ambulance.

“A neighbour performed resuscitation techniques until the medical response teams arrived.

“Once they were there, the medical responders continued with advanced CPR and other resuscitation techniques but they were unable to save the child, a 19-month-old toddler who was pronounced dead at the scene."

The tragedy happened on a private residential estate called El Paraiso in Aigues.

The village has just under 1,000 inhabitants according to a 2020 census.

The toddler’s mum is believed to be in her early fifties and her partner in his late forties. It is not known if they have any other children.

A police source added: “The incident happened at a residential estate called El Paraiso in Aigues de Busot.

“The parents were helped to get the toddler out of the water and resuscitation techniques practiced on the youngster until an air ambulance arrived.

“After repeated attempts to save the child, he was pronounced dead at the scene.”

A post-mortem is expected to take place on Thursday or Friday. The results of post-mortems in Spain are not normally made public. Wednesday’s tragedy comes on the back of two others in the area involving British nationals.

Expat Ingrid Dale, 67, originally from Dereham in Norfolk, died after being stung by a wasp in a Costa Blanca restaurant on May 9.

She is said to have gone into anaphylactic shock in front of friends in the coastal town of Moraira half an hour north of Benidorm.

She died in an ambulance outside the Hill Top Sports Bar & Grill after going into cardiac arrest before she could be taken to hospital.

Later the same day a British man drowned in a nearby river which had claimed the lives of three other people in the past month as he tried to save his dog.

Former Royal Navy sailor Paul Lebihan, originally from Gateshead, died after getting into difficulties in the river at a beauty spot a short drive from the Costa Blanca resort of Benidorm.

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