A BRIT dad and his two kids drowned in a Costa del Sol pool on Christmas Eve after he tried to save his daughter who had “lost her balance and slipped in”.
Gabriel Diya, 52, and son Praise-Emmanuel, 16, died after they jumped into the water in a vain attempt to save his nine-year-old Comfort, who had fallen in.
Comfort’s older sister Favour told police that Comfort got into difficulties after slipping in the pool and failing to regain her footing and drifting towards the deep end.
The 14-year-old is understood to have been playing with Comfort, nine, when the drama unfolded at holiday resort Club La Costa World near Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol, about 2pm on Christmas Eve.
Respected Spanish newspaper Sur, described how the girls’ brother Praise-Emmanuel jumped in the pool followed by their Christian pastor father Gabriel after hearing her screams.
Francisco Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Civil Guard union AUGC, confirmed overnight: “The surviving sister has said they didn’t know how to swim.
“With that information and the fact we know the water in the pool was very cold, the mystery of what caused this awful tragedy begins to unravel itself.”
Family members are reported to have made the claim when interviewed 48 hours after the tragedy.
The Civil Guard leading the judicial probe have yet to make any formal statement about the family admission.
But a police source said: “Investigators have been told the three relatives didn’t know how to swim or didn’t swim very well.
“Although there has been speculation about the pool pump system, investigators have found no evidence pointing to any anomalies like increased suction pressure.”
It is understood Mr Diya was a Christian pastor based in South East London.
The father and daughter both had British passports while Comfort’s brother had an American passport.
It comes after Comfort’s swimming cap was found in the pool’s pump at Club La Costa World in Fuengirola – with speculation that suction problems turned the pool into a death trap.
It was suggested problems could have made it impossible for the little girl’s brother and father to reach the surface after they jumped in to save her.
But now it appears it could have been a straightforward case of drowning.
The nine-year-old girl was swimming with her sister, 12, on December 24 when the tragedy unfolded.
The sister then raised the alarm, with her dad and son jumping into the water in a vain attempt to save her.
On Wednesday a witness told how the mum, believed to be from London, “stayed calm” and prayed by their bodies to try to will them back to life as he performed CPR with resort staff on the three tourists.
Dad-of-three Josias Fletchman, from Manchester, said in a moving account of how he tried to save them: “The mum was praying for them to come back to life.
“She was calm. She was touching their bodies. She continued praying even after the ambulance people arrived and had stopped trying to revive them.
‘IT WAS HORRIBLE’
“She exercised her faith to the limit. I was performing CPR on her husband but I’m a believer and I prayed as well.
“She strengthened me in the way she reacted. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
Another witness described the horrific scenes, saying she had been left unable to sleep after hearing the mother’s cries.
She said: “I noticed a woman walking towards to where I was, she looked really distraught.
“When she came closer she was just saying help me, help me, please help me – my children are drowning.
“It was horrible.”
Resort chiefs said in a statement tonight: “Club La Costa World resort continues to cooperate fully with the authorities investigating this appalling tragedy.
“We have followed their directions at all times.
“Naturally we will continue to offer every assistance and comply fully and transparently with any requests made by them.
“At the same time we are doing everything possible to provide care and support to bereaved family members and to all our other guests.
“Out of respect for the family, we have no further comment at this stage on various media speculation.”
An FCO spokesperson said after news of the tragedy emerged: “We are offering assistance to a British woman following an incident in Spain.”