SPRING HILL — A plastic barrier blocked the walkway to the water, and three older siblings were supervising. But none of them was able to save 1-year-old Bisher Hiba, who drowned in his family's pool Monday morning.
Bisher, whose name was released Tuesday, was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where doctors pronounced him dead at 11:48 a.m.
The toddler's three siblings — ages 14, 12 and 10 — watched their younger brother while their parents, Rodwan and Salma Al-Kassas Hiba, were in another part of the home, according to a statement released by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday. Two of Bisher's siblings were watching a movie while the third was doing schoolwork. Their names were not released.
Authorities think Bisher began to wander and made his way onto the deck of the pool. A sliding glass door that led to the pool deck was open, but a plastic barricade blocked the path. Authorities think Bisher squeezed between the barricade and the door and fell into the pool, the news release said.
When the siblings realized their brother was missing, they found him floating in the pool and pulled him out of the water. They yelled for their parents, and their father, a gastroenterologist, performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
The drowning is still being investigated, but the Sheriff's Office says there is no indication the incident is anything other than an accidental drowning, according to the news release.
Messages left with Rodwan Hiba's office seeking comment were not returned Tuesday.
A funeral service was held at the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area in Tampa on Tuesday evening. Bisher's body was buried in Thonotosassa.
Michael Sanserino can be reached at email@example.com or (352) 848-1430.