Changes to Old Park Wood holiday park after boy tragically drowns

SIGNIFICANT changes have been made to a holiday park after a boy tragically drowned in a swimming pool, a court has heard.

Luca Hurle died after struggling while swimming in a trailer park near Grange owned by Holker Estates.

He was four years old.

The company was fined £127,500 by Preston Crown Court for health and safety breaches following the incident.

The court was told of changes made by the company to its Old Park Wood caravan park, where the incident took place in August 2016.

After his death, questions were raised about pool safety.

On the day Luca drowned, an alarm by the pool could only be heard in a small area and the site office’s CCTV cameras were not in use.

The court was told there was a steep slope where the shallow end of the pool passed into the deep end which could have posed a risk of dragging non-swimmers into the deep waters by accident .

Signage near the pool would have told swimmers that the slope was half as steep as it actually was.

It is now reduced to a “paddling pool” with a flat depth of one meter.

The court heard after the incident that the South Lakeland District Council carried out inquiries and served the company with a notice of improvement.

Mitigating for Holker, attorney Dominic Kay said Holker Estates and its managing director Allen Gibb showed “deep remorse” and offered their condolences to Luca’s family.

Mr Gibb, who was sitting in court, reportedly wrote a letter to the judge which he hoped would be delivered to Luca’s family.

Mr Kay said the company ‘accepts’ that it has ‘failed’ to keep holiday park users safe.

Luca was described by his parents as “an energetic, loving and kind boy whose smile and laughter were contagious”.

Dad Gavin Hurle said: “We remember him every day and see him in our dreams.

“But we are left with a gaping hole in our hearts that is and will remain impossible to fill.”

About Richard Chandler

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