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8-year-old girl drowns in pond in Kagawa

16 Comments

An 8-year-old girl was discovered floating unconscious in a man-made pond in Takamatsu City around 5:50 p.m. Thursday. The girl was rushed to hospital but died a few hours later. Police have found no evidence of foul play and suspect the girl fell into the pond accidentally.

According to reports, the pond is located about 20 meters from the home of the deceased girl, identified as Aoi Ohta. At around 5 p.m., the girl told her grandmother she was going outside to play in the park and left on her bicycle. She was discovered less than an hour later by her father Kazuo, who found her floating about 10 meters from the edge.

Except for a small section that faces the road, the pond is not fenced off, making it easy to enter. The incident occurred about 1 kilometer north of Takamatsu Airport in a rural area with a number of fields and ponds.

© News reports

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
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An eight-year-old who doesn't know how to swim? How deep was this pond?

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Poor little mite, Rip. Many children and adults can't swim! I myself learned aged 11. My heart goes out to the family.

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I live in the Hawaiian islands and every year the dailies report the fact that most residents don't know how to swim.

Many of the locals you may even see on the beach playin' volleyball don't know how to swim. They just like playin' volleyball at the beach... tannin'... bar-b-q'in'...

Age has nothing to do with someone knowing how to swim or not.

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Most folks donw in Okinawa also do not know how to swim! This should be a required lesson for all children, not only in Japan, but all over the world. Water safety lessons for kids, their parents and teachers would help avoid these terrible accidents. RIP little girl.

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My 7 y/o girl does not go downstairs unless I am with her. No way Jose.

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This is tragic.

"The pond is not fenced off"

Most ponds aren't fenced off.

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In Kindergarten, my 4 year old son goes to swimming lessons once a month. Let's see how much he will learn.

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my 4 year old son goes to swimming lessons once a month

That's not enough! All kids should be able to swim by the age of five. My 11 month old son has been going to swimming classes once or twice a week since he was 3 months old and can swim better than he walks. My five year old daughter can swim a full lap of a 25m pool. I feel sorry for this poor little girl who never had the chance to learn to swim and for her parents sitting around asking themselves, "Why didn't we teach her to swim?"

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About the 'all kids by age five' sentence...

Are you sayin' you want this to become law? Or are you just statin' a personal wish?

I hope it's the latter. I've already got a city council that has the police givin' out $92- fines for adults who freely choose not to wear seatbelts. -And the police are none too happy about this nonsense either.

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Who says no one taught the little girl to swim? Swimming in a shallow pool in a swimsuit under the supervision of an instructor and surrounded by other people is a far cry from falling alone fully-clothed into a pond. If she got water in her lungs on the sudden initial ducking, it's very likely panic would set in and all memory of what she'd learned in her swimming lessons would disappear.

My kids also had swimming lessons from the age of 2, but neither of them really 'got' swimming until we took them to the sea; chasing the fish gave them a reason to put all that kicking and pulling and splashing together and make it work.

One of my peeves with Japan is the lack of public swimming pools open year-round where parents can take their kids and teach them to enjoy the water, in a way that the ubiquitous structured swimming lessons don't. Please don't think your kids are safe just because you send them to swimming lessons - especially if the lessons are your idea, not theirs.

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I think that a lot of people here live in a fairy world. And I am not kidding. Some think that by just wishing something only they will be able to accomplish the feat. Not that I mean her, but in case of older adults like mamasans crossing the street with the believe nothing will happen to them. Faith is one thing, but not to be confused with a stun.

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Probably most people here are imagining a muddy 'pond' but a 'Tame-ike' as it is called elsewhere in the media, is a small reservoir made with concrete and concrete slabs. Nothing beautiful or fun about them and absolutely not a place for anyone to even consider paddling or swimming. They are designed to catch and hold water, but with a vertical edge and steeply sloping sides they become slimy under the surface and offer nothing to grab onto if someone should fall in.

Perhaps with the airport 1,000 meters away she turned to watch an aircraft and lost her footing... rest in peace little one.

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Very good point, nandakanda. If you can't get out of the water and the sides are too slippy to hold on to, the strongest swimmer in the world is going to get tired eventually. 'Ponds' like the ones you describe should be fenced off.

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Kids will never, ever learn to swim much in this country. One learns to swim, when one has to confront the 'deep end' of the pool and cross it. There are no deep ends in japanese pools and every kid knows he can stop anytime and stand up. I wasted a fortune on our kids at a swimming school and the instructors didn't give a rat's a*** that they hadn't made any progress, just as long as the fees were there at the end of the month.

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Sad story, I can't imagine the father's grief. This is why my first priority with my young son was teaching him to swim. It was natural for me just as a safety issue in everyday life but especially because we sail and there is no way I take anyone on the boat who can't swim.

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When my siblings and I were 6, 4, and 3, my father had us observe our family dog fetch a stick from a local lake. He then had us lay across a picnic bench and emulate the "dog paddling" technique that we had seen our dog do. He worked closely with us in the water several times at the lake and at our neighborhood swimming pool. I remember as a child it was fun learning how to swim like a dog. It boosted our confidence greatly and took our minds off our fears of being in water. I agree with Cleo and Naka that some situations are unfortunately no win, but what I think it comes down to is how much a parent is willing to prepare their child for life.

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