Mijas - Spain Vacation Ends Tragically As Jewish London Preschooler Drowns
Mijas, Spain - A four year old Golders Green boy who drowned Sunday night during a family vacation in Spain was laid to rest today in London.
Refoel Berkovits was playing by the pool with several other children during a dinner party held by his parents Moshe and Dena Berkovits, who had taken their family to a resort in Mijas, located approximately 1,000 miles from London.
According to Shlomo Greenfeld of Stamford Hill, one of a group of men who had gathered for Mincha and Maariv in Mijas on Sunday night, there were approximately a dozen Orthodox Jewish families vacationing at the seaside town in the heart of Spain’s Costa del Sol region when the accidental drowning occurred.
“We were davening with all the holiday makers here and then Mr. Berkovits said that he was going home after Mincha because they were in the middle of eating,” Greenfeld told VIN News. “Half an hour later we heard what had happened.”
According to reports on London’s Evening Standard, a 15 year old boy who discovered the little boy in the water ran for help.
“There was a Hatzolah member who was there and he went straightaway but there was nothing they could do anymore,” said Greenfeld.
Paramedics who arrived on scene also attempted unsuccessful lifesaving measures on the four year old who was pronounced dead at the scene.
While a routine investigation is being made into the drowning, no autopsy was performed either in Spain or in England.
“They were very lucky,” said Greenfeld. “Usually they won’t let a body out of the country without an autopsy. Monday night they released the body and he was flown on Tuesday to London. Luckily the body was released on Tuesday with no autopsy.”
The levaya for Refoel Berkovits took place at 2:30 this afternoon in Golders Green. Moshe and Dena Berkovits were described as pillars of the Golders Green community.
“Refoel was such a nice child and we are all so very sorry for the family’s loss,” a friend told the Evening Standard. “They very loving and warm and this is a sad day for us all.”
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