A Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Pastor at the Open Heavens group based in Charlton, south-east London, Gabriel Diya, and his two children, died at a swimming pool in the Costa del Sol, in the south of Spain on Christmas eve.
The hotel where the incident took place described it as a “tragic accident”.
It was gathered that the youngest child, a nine-year-old girl, was believed to have been struggling in the water when her 16-year-old brother and father, 52, tried to rescue her.
Pastor Gabriel Diya, his daughter, Comfort Diya, and his son, Praise-Emmanuel Diya, 16, all fell unconscious in the pool.
Medical efforts could not revive them, as the children’s mother prayed for their revival at Club La Costa World on Christmas Eve.
Local reports said Spanish police were investigating the pump and suction system for a possible failure, as well as testing the water. But hotel operator CLC World Resorts and Hotels said inquiries had found no issues with the pool, and the deaths were believed to be a “tragic accident”.
Local media reports said a member of the family has told police that none of the three knew how to swim. The pool has reportedly since re-opened.
The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) said Mr Diya was a pastor at the Open Heavens group based in Charlton, south-east London.
The church said he was survived by his wife, assistant pastor Olubunmi Diya, and another daughter.
“With heavy hearts, we extend our condolences to the family, parish, friends and associates of area pastor Gabriel Diya who sadly passed away, along with two of his children… in a tragic incident while on a family holiday in Spain.
“At this very difficult time, our prayers are for Pastor Gabriel Diya’s family, the parishes that were under his supervision, friends, associates, members of RCCG and the general public.”