In Summary
  • Neptune Group of Hotels director Vickram Korla said they tried to resuscitate the girl before they took her to hospital.

Eight-year-old Charlene Wanjiku was ecstatic when she was informed she would be going to the Coast.

She was a good swimmer and looked forward to the trip.

Her aunt from the United Kingdom had picked Diani in Kwale County for her wedding to allow as many relatives as possible in Kenya to attend.

Charlene’s grandfather, Martin Mbugua, had asked her to join him for the ceremony.

The Grade Two pupil from Ruhia Rwambogo Primary School was set to be a flower girl during the wedding.

Two hours before the nuptials at Neptune Hotel on October 25, Charlene decided to cool down from the sweltering heat by going for a swim at the hotel’s pool. That was when tragedy struck.


Charlene’s first visit to the popular tourist destination turned into a nightmare when she drowned in the pool.

Attempts by two doctors, who were guests at the wedding, to save the minor’s life were futile.

“The doctors tried to save her life by conducting a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) but that did not help. She was pronounced dead in hospital,” said Ms Susan Kamau, the girl’s aunt.

Charlene had been rushed to Palm Beach Hospital.

Her mother, Rhoda Mbugua, had not travelled to the Coast for the wedding as she was nursing her two-month-old baby at her Limuru home in Kiambu County.

The hardest thing after the incident was how the family would break the tragic news to Charlene’s mother.

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