A bathing resort in the Czech Republic is being investigated by police after its employees failed to search for two seven-year-old boys from Vietnam who were missing – and later found dead in a lake.

The boys’ mothers sought help last Thursday were allegedly fobbed off by employees of the bathing resort on Lhota Lake in the Central Bohemian region “because they were foreigners”, Blisty.cz reported.

The lifeguard had reportedly abandoned his post and was hiding from the heat in a shaded area. However, employees of the resort were said to have been impolite and declined to help the mothers, according to the report, which cited unnamed witnesses. It was suspected that the employees ignored the two women because they were Vietnamese.

After other visitors at the resort intervened, the employees reluctantly took action to search for the boys. It allegedly took half-an-hour for the employees to make an announcement over the public address system. But they failed to mention the boys’ names or nationality.

The boys were later found dead after drowning in the lake.

The mothers complained that the resort had not taken their requests seriously while a search for the boys was only launched several hours later. The resort staff said they did not want to “cause unnecessary panic” by searching for the boys at the resort.

The Czech-Vietnamese Society called for an investigation into the incident. Local police are looking into the matter.