Holiday park managing director tells Maya Kantengule inquest that adult supervision of pool was not ‘adequate’
PUBLISHED: 14:38 27 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:35 27 July 2017
The managing director of a holiday park where a seven-year-old girl drowned has criticised the level of supervision by parents watching the pool.
James Knight, who runs the Waveney River Centre holiday park in Burgh St Peter, made the comments during the second day of an inquest into the death of Maya Kantengule.
The Dell Primary School pupil was found at the bottom of a swimming pool at the park during her best friend’s birthday party on Sunday, May 1, 2016.
An inquest held in Norwich today heard how parents attending the event had been watching the pool party from a glass observation area that morning.
But Mr Knight told the hearing: “I do not regard being fully clothed behind the glass as being adequate to supervise seven-year-old children.”
He added that he believed there was no risk “which could not have been mitigated by normal parental supervision.”
Mr Knight said the rules, which state children under the age of 14 must have adult supervision in the pool, meant an adult should be in the pool with them.
The inquest heard how there was no lifeguard at the pool, which was also highlighted in the rules.
Jane Rainer, who organised the party for her daughter, argued there were nine adults watching the pool from the observation area, and another watching from outside.
She said: “I can’t understand how you can say the children were not being supervised just because we were behind glass.”
Mrs Rainer had dived into the pool fully clothed after spotting Maya at the bottom and pulled her out of the water.
The girl was given CPR at the scene and taken to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, but died later that day.
Mr Knight said a risk assessment for the pool had been carried out, adding that it met all of the health and safety guidelines.
But the holiday park was served with an improvement notice by the Health and Safety Executive on August 10 last year following the tragedy.
It found that there was no risk assessment in place for children’s parties.
Mr Knight said he felt the park’s risk assessments were adequate, but still complied with the improvement notice.
He added that the holiday park no longer hosts private pool parties.
Meanwhile, the inquest heard how the one CCTV camera monitoring the pool had not been working.
Mr Knight said reception staff would normally “keep an eye” on the screens to ensure pool rules were being enforced.
He said the camera had broken five days earlier, and the replacement was still on his desk at the time of the incident.
The inquest continues.
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