Lancashire

Jane Bell inquest: Coroner 'fears future deaths' after hotel drowning

Dalmeny Hotel St Annes Image copyright Google
Image caption Jane Bell died in the pool at the Dalmeny Hotel, which had no trained lifeguards on duty at the time

A coroner has called for greater safety measures at a hotel swimming pool where a three-year-old girl drowned.

Jane Bell, from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders, died after getting into difficulty at the Dalmeny Hotel in St Annes, Lancashire on 14 August 2014.

There was no trained lifeguard on duty at the time, the inquest was told.

After the jury returned a conclusion of accidental death, coroner Alan Wilson said he had concerns about the "risk of future deaths".

Mr Wilson told the hearing at Blackpool Town Hall there may have been a lack of focus on the welfare of people using the pool at the time.

He said he would be writing to the pool's owners, the Chief Coroner of England and Wales, Fylde Council, and Jane's parents.

'Training plan'

Jane had been on holiday with her family at the time of her death.

In a statement, her mother Sarah Bell said her daughter had slipped from her grasp in 7ft (2m) of water at the deep end of the pool.

Jane's father David and a staff member tried and failed to rescue her, before former swimming teacher Carole Greenwood dived in and pulled her out.

Mrs Greenwood and off-duty paramedic James Pendlebury tried to revive her, but she later died at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Leisure centre manager Tom Bird previously told the hearing that the hotel's health and safety practices had been dealt with by an outside consultancy at the time of the tragedy.

Emergency response training for hotel staff began two months after the drowning, he said.

Samantha Lewis, director of the Dalmeny Hotel, said staff had "always sought guidance and advice from health and safety experts".

"We are also working with a national expert on pool management who is advising us on the best way forward on how we can make sure the pool is the safest it can possibly be."

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