Firm admits safety breaches after child, 4, drowned in swimming pool on family holiday

A risk management company has admitted health and safety breaches after a child drowned in a swimming pool at a caravan site near Grange-over-Sands.

Luca Hurle, four, died after getting into difficulty in the pool at Old Park Wood caravan park in August 2016.

Luca, from Newport, Gwent, had been on holiday with his father Gavin Hurle, stepmother Donna Southcott, and brothers Gabriel and Oliver, when the tragedy occurred.

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Witnesses described seeing Luca wearing bracelets and playing with his family around 15 minutes before he was found unconscious. Emergency services were called and Luca was taken to Furness General Hospital, before being transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where he died .

At a hearing at Preston Crown Court today (March 14) Newmac Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to discharge general health and safety duties to a person other than an employee at Old Park Wood caravan park. The company held a contract with Holker Estates, the owners of the park, to conduct risk assessment relating to the use of the pool.

Gavin Hurle with his son, Luca

Holker Estates Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to conduct an undertaking in such a way to ensure that persons not in its employment were not exposed to risks to their health and safety; and failing to comply with an improvement notice at an earlier hearing.

Following Luca’s death, his father paid tribute to his little boy, saying: “Rip my little Angel daddy loves you so much xxxx.”

An inquest concluded Luca died from drowning and a hypoxic brain injury. Senior coroner Andre Rebello said the death was ‘a tragic accident’. Holker Estates and Newmac Ltd will return to court on June 24 2022 when the companies will be sentenced.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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