Glasgow & West Scotland

Scottish scout dies during Italian adventure holiday

Elliot Peacock Image copyright Other
Image caption Elliot Peacock was on an adventure holiday in the Aosta Valley in Italy.

A 14-year-old boy from a scout group near Glasgow has died in an accident on an adventure holiday in the Italian Alps.

Elliot Peacock, from Newton Mearns, was a member of Eastwood District Scouts.

The incident happened at the Lillaz Falls, about 1,800m above sea level, in the Gran Paradiso National Park on Sunday.

Outdoor education provider Acorn Adventure said he was part of a group jumping into water under instruction.

It said the group were "gorge scrambling", which involves walking up and down a gorge and jumping from a low level into pools, on the second day of their nine-day adventure activity trip in northern Italy.

"On this particular occasion, the group were jumping from a height of approximately 60cm into the water, where instructors were waiting for them, as is normal," said a statement.

"Water conditions were optimum for the activity and the weather was warm and sunny.

'Unable to resuscitate'

"As this participant entered the water for the second time, it was obvious to the instructors that something was wrong, so they rescued him from the water immediately.

"There was no obvious contact with a rock or anything else, so the reason for losing consciousness remains unexplained.

"Instructors who are trained first aiders and nurses who were also at the scene began CPR and continued until the air ambulance arrived 10 minutes after being called.

"Very sadly, they were unable to resuscitate him."

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The accident took place in the Gran Paradiso National Park on Sunday.

An investigation into the incident is being led by the Guardia di Finanza (Finance Guard) of Entreves and Acorn Adventure said it was working with the Italian emergency services and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Acorn Adventure added: "Staff have since returned to the site with the police investigating the incident and it is now understood that there was no impact with a rock.

"Gorge scrambling has been operated by Acorn at this particular location for hundreds of participants every year for the past five years.

"It is controlled by fully trained and assessed instructors and all participants are equipped with helmets, buoyancy aids, full wetsuits and footwear."

Senior company staff, along with a trauma counsellor, have travelled to Italy to provide support to Elliot's family, who have flown there from Scotland.

'Great maturity'

Acorn Adventure founder and managing director Andrew Gardiner said: "We are all profoundly saddened by this tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the boy.

"Our priority is to ensure we do all we can to help them by working with the various organisations involved to understand how this happened.

"The rest of the group are supporting each other and showing great maturity. They are a great credit to their scout group and their parents."

Elliot was a member of the Pegasus Explorer Scout Unit, which is linked to the 35th Glasgow Scout Group,

In a statement, the Scout Association confirmed that he had been taking part in a holiday to the Aosta Valley in Italy.

"The Scout Association continues to support Elliot's parents, the young people and leaders who are part of the event," it stated.

"We will continue to work with Acorn Adventure, who organised the itinerary and programme, to establish if there are any lessons to learn from this tragic incident"

The Foreign Office said it was aware of the death of a British national in Italy and was ready to provide consular assistance.