Coroner's plea for action after tot's pool death

A coroner is to take urgent action to try and prevent more deaths at a seaside hotel swimming pool.

Thursday, 17th March 2016, 12:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2016, 12:36 pm
Police outside the Dalmeny Hotel in August 2014

The inquest jury returned an accidental death verdict on three-year-old Jane Bell, who drowned at the indoor pool at the Dalmeny Hotel in Lytham St Annes in August 2014.

Coroner Alan Wilson said at the end of a three-day hearing: “I have given considerable thought to risk of future deaths and conclude there is concern and a mandatory duty to warn the authorities.

“Therefore, a prevention of future death report is required.”

The coroner highlighted a need for greater safety measures at the pool, where no trained lifeguards were employed.

He said he saw financial issues in relation to the use of trained lifeguards and criticised what he described as a lack of focus by people using the pool.

He will write to the owners of the pool, to Janes’s parents, the Chief Coroner and the local authority-Fylde Council - about his concerns.

Before the jury retired the coroner directed them towards an accidental death verdict.

Jane was on holiday with her family, from Galashiels, Scotland, were on holiday when tragedy struck.

In a statement, mother Sarah said that she had Jane in her hands as she trod water in the seven foot deep end of the pool.

Suddenly her daughter slipped from her grasp and went to the bottom.

Her husband David’s statement to police said: ”Sarah shouted at me, ‘Jane is under the water I can’t reach her.’”

Mr Bell and then a leisure area staff member tried and failed to rescue Jane before former swimming teacher 54-year-old Carole Greenwood dived in and pulled Jane out.

David Bell pressed a poolside panic button which alerted staff to his daughter’s plight. Members of the public and an off duty paramedic James Pendlebury went to the child’s aid.

Nine hours later, Jane died at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Cause of death was given as drowning but the youngster also suffered three cardiac arrests before she died.

The hearing at Blackpool Town Hall heard how there was no trained lifeguard at the time Jane drowned.

Staff said they had not been given poolside rescue training but staff normally monitored pool use on CCTV.

The hotel management told the inquest that had now been rectified and a training plan was in place.

Jane’s parents did not attend the hearing.

After the hearing, Mrs Greenwood, 54, said: ”I cannot stress enough the need for children to be taught how to swim properly at an early age.”