Girl drowned at Norfolk pool party with no lifeguard on duty

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Image caption,
Maya Kantengule was found at the bottom of a swimming pool at Waveney River Centre holiday park

A seven-year-old girl drowned at her best friend's birthday pool party while there was no lifeguard on duty, an inquest heard.

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

She was declared dead later that day at James Paget University Hospital.

South Norfolk Council environmental health officer Chris Coker said people swam at the centre at their own risk.

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

Maya's father, Livial Kantengule, said in a written statement at the inquest in Norwich that he spoke to Jane Rainer, the mother of his daughter's best friend, as he arrived and decided not to wait at the pool during the party.

He returned there with his wife, Glenda, after receiving a message there had been an accident.

Maya had already been taken to the hospital near Great Yarmouth. Her parents were at her bedside when she was pronounced dead.

Mr Kantengule said he did not ask if there was a lifeguard.

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Image caption,
The inquest is expected to last two days

"Jane used to volunteer to help with the swimming lessons, so we assumed Maya would be adequately supervised while in the pool," he said.

Maya, from Smith's Walk, Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, Suffolk, attended Dell Primary School.

'Nervous swimmer'

Jaqueline Bell, a teaching assistant at the school, said in a written statement that Maya started weekly swimming lessons in reception year.

"She was nervous in the water and would use armbands and a woggle," she said.

Mr Coker told the inquest the indoor pool at Waveney River Centre could be privately hired.

He said it was 1.5m (5ft) at its deepest and signs were up stating there were no lifeguards on duty and that people swam at their own risk.

The inquest, expected to last two days, continues.

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