Norfolk

Maya Kantengule drowned in an accident, inquest finds

Maya Kantengule Image copyright Norfolk Police
Image caption The inquest heard Maya had used armbands during her weekly swimming lessons at school

The parents of a girl who drowned at her best friend's birthday pool party have said over a year later they "relive her passing every day".

Maya Kantengule, seven, was found at the bottom of a swimming pool at Waveney River Centre holiday park in Burgh St Peter, Norfolk, on 1 May 2016.

Livial and Glenda Kantengule said: "We miss her dearly and she has left a void that is difficult to fill."

An inquest has recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The jury at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich heard there was no lifeguard on duty at the birthday party and Maya was "nervous in the water".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The pool at Waveney River Centre holiday park was a maximum of 1.5m (5ft) deep

South Norfolk Council environmental health officer Chris Coker told the inquest signs at the pool explained the lack of lifeguards and said people swam at their own risk.

Maya, from Smith's Walk, Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, Suffolk, was taken to James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth.

She was pronounced dead on the same day as the party with her parents by her bedside.

Mr and Mrs Kantengule said: "We hope that this inquest will provide answers to what happened on the day, even though it is hard to admit that no explanation will bring back our daughter."

Image copyright ADRIAN CABLE
Image caption The pool was hired out five or six times a year but is no longer available for private parties, the inquest heard

The managing director of Waveney River Centre told the inquest there was no supervision at the pool, based on health and safety guidance.

James Knight said the centre had been issued with an improvement notice by the Health and Safety Executive following Maya's death, asking it to provide a specific risk assessment for children's pool parties.

The inquest jury heard better documentation had been put in place, but the pool was no longer available to hire.

Jane Rainer, the mother of Maya's best friend, told the inquest that 10 children, including her two daughters, attended the party and 10 adults were also present.

No specific discussions were had about supervision. However, she said: "Had we known there was a non-swimmer in the group that would have been completely different."

Mrs Rainer spotted Maya under the water 10 minutes before the end of the session.

She jumped in the pool, retrieved the seven-year-old and performed CPR while the emergency services were called.

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