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Health and safety failures blamed for 4-year-old drowning at Cumbria holiday park

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.

Four-year-old Luca Hurle died after getting into difficulty in the pool at Old Park Wood caravan park in August 2016.

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

Witnesses described seeing Luca wearing armbands 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 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.

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.

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 24 June 2022 for sentencing.

ITV News March 2022


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