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Leisure centre trustees fined following pool incident

20 April 2022

THE TRUSTEES of a Kilmarnock leisure centre have been fined after a six-year-old girl nearly drowned in a swimming pool.

At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court today, the Trustees of the Kilmarnock Leisure Centre Trust admitted failings under Health and Safety at Work legislation and was fined £10,000.

The young girl had been with her family at a fun swim session within the Galleon Leisure Centre on 29 July 2019.

The fun swim incorporated a 15 metre fun run in the main pool and a large inflatable slide which exits into the main pool.

The girl went down the slide and was unable to establish her footing and went underwater and subsequently became unconscious.

She was rescued from the pool by an eleven-year-old boy who had been playing in the middle of the 1.5 metre deep pool and felt something touch his foot. He looked down and saw the girl was curled in a banana type shape with her head facing downwards.

The boy went underwater, picked her up by her torso, shouted over to a lifeguard as he took her to the poolside where lifeguards took over and resuscitated her.

The case was investigated by East Ayrshire Council’s Environmental Health Service who found that the Trust had failed to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the use of inflatables during fun swimming activity sessions and that they were deployed and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s safety instructions.

They also found that the Trust had failed to carry out lifeguard zone visibility tests to ensure adequate supervision and control of fun swimming activity sessions.

Alistair Duncan, head of the Health and Safety Investigation Unit of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said, “This was a traumatic incident for the young girl involved. An incident, which if not for the intervention of an eleven-year-old boy, could potentially have had tragic consequences.

“I commend him for taking such decisive action and in so doing saving the life of the young girl.

“The measures the Trust had in place at the time were insufficient to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the safety of members of the public using its pool during fun swimming activity sessions.

"Hopefully this incident will remind other pool operators that failure to fulfil their obligations in law can have potentially tragic consequences and that they will be held to account for their failings.”