NEWS

Parents of drowned sisters say teens did not know how to swim

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The parents of two sisters who drowned in a hotel swimming pool while on holiday on the southeastern Aegean island of Rhodes on Wednesday evening have confirmed that the teenagers did not know how to swim, local newspaper Rodiaki has reported.

The incident occurred after 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening, shortly after the hotel's lifeguard went off duty. It appears from CCTV footage that not finding a lounger beside the shallow paddling pool, the two sisters decided to try a deeper pool at the resort, which has three swimming pools.

Guests later saw one of the girls, aged 16, floating unconscious on the surface of the water. Paramedics were called in but were unable to save her. The second sister, aged 19, was found at the bottom of the same pool a couple of hours later after her parents realized she was missing. Her body was apparently not visible from the surface, Rodiaki said.

Investigators believe that the 19-year-old drowned trying to save her younger sister.

The girls were on holiday with their parents and another two siblings. They are all French nationals, according to local media.

In Athens, meanwhile, Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis contacted French Ambassador Christophe Chantely to express his and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' condolences over the teenagers' death and to assure him that every effort is being made to investigate the incident and help the bereaved family.