A parent’s worst nightmare

Loui Aspinall
Loui Aspinall

A TWO-year-old boy tragically drowned while on holiday in Tunisia after he followed his unsuspecting father into the pool, an inquest heard.

Little Loui Aspinall died after getting into difficulties at the Houda Golf and Beach Resort in Skanes, near Tunisian tourist resort Monastir.

He was found under the water and CCTV footage showed there was a seven-minute delay until he was pulled onto the side of the pool at 1.19pm on September 25 last year – three days into the family holiday.

The inquest heard there were no lifeguards on duty, no basic first aid kit by the pool, that tragically Loui didn’t have his armbands on at the time and that there was a miscommunication between his parents as to who was watching him.

Yesterday, Loui’s father Gavin Aspinall, who also has a six-year-old daughter, said the family had just returned to the pool from eating lunch in the hotel when Loui said he wanted to go to the toilet.

He said: “Normally, Loui would have had his armbands on and a rubber ring but you have to get properly dressed to go to lunch so he didn’t have them on.

“He wouldn’t wee in the shallow part of the pool because he said he’s a big boy now so I took him into the pool.

“When I brought him back out I put him down near his mum, where the water was only about an inch deep.

“His sister had wanted to swim up to this bridge over the pool so we went back into the water and I left Loui.

“Where I’d put him he was about three feet away from his mum but he was out of her view.

“She was facing the opposite way because she was talking to some people we’d made friends with while on holiday.

“I said I was going back into the water but she hadn’t heard me.”

The court heard that at around 1.12pm, approximately 10 seconds after Gavin went back into the water, Loui went into the pool, unbeknown to his parents.

Mr Aspinall, of Atherton Road, Hindley Green, said: “Me and my daughter weren’t away long but as we were heading back to the sunbeds, we heard shouting.”

He added: “I never saw a lifeguard.

“There were some in another pool where the slides were but there weren’t any on duty anywhere else.

“I remember seeing a sign on the bridge saying there were no lifeguards on duty.”

David Ray, who was in the pool at the time while on holiday with his girlfriend, pulled Loui out of the water around seven minutes after he went in.

He told the inquest: “Two little boys around five-years-old came up to me.

“They couldn’t speak English but they were saying ‘handstand’ and pointing at Loui.

“As I got closer I realised he wasn’t doing a handstand and I pulled him out of the water by his ankles.”

Mr Ray told Bolton Coroner’s Court that there was a lifeguard working at a different pool nearby who was not aware of the incident until his fiance shouted for help.

Paul Devine, senior police coroner’s officer, read out a statement given by nurse Sally Haskin, a holidaymaker who took over CPR.

She said that the lifeguard had been talking to two girls and was shouted over.

She took over CPR because the lifeguard was administering it as if Loui was a grown adult.

She also recorded in her statement that there was no basic first aid kit by the pool.

Loui’s mum Emma Hollingsworth, of Wigan, told the inquest

previously: “I was lying on my stomach in the shallow part facing away from the water.

“Gavin took him into the water.

“I saw lifeguards from time to time walking around but there was a sign saying they were not always on duty.

“The next thing I saw was Loui lying on the side of the pool after he was pulled from the water.

“There was no screaming or anything to draw my attention to it.

“I didn’t see Loui from when he went into the pool with his dad to when he had been pulled from the water.”

The inquest continues.