Schoolboy's swimming pool tragedy

Posted: 12th June 2015

Pool1A schoolboy who nearly drowned in a public swimming pool after negligent lifeguards failed to notice that he was in difficulty has won the right to up to £5 million compensation for the serious brain injury that he sustained.

The boy, who could not swim, was aged six and had become separated from his father and siblings at Danes Camp Pool in Northampton. He slipped beneath the water for almost three minutes before another swimmer spotted him, apparently lifeless, on the bottom of the pool. He was swiftly given first aid and resuscitated but oxygen starvation meant that he would require a lifetime of care.

In upholding his claim against Northampton Borough Council, the local authority which ran the pool, a judge found that two lifeguards had failed to identify him as a child at risk before he entered the pool or to keep him under adequate observation. Had they not failed in their duty, the boy would have been removed from the pool within 30 seconds at most. The amount of the boy’s damages had yet to be finally assessed but his legal team had valued his claim at up to £5 million.