Family of Wigan youngster who drowned in a pool on family vacation issues warning to holidaymakers

Wigan holidaymakers are being warned to be vigilant when using swimming pools overseas.

Friday, 31st May 2019, 11:20 am
Updated Friday, 31st May 2019, 12:20 pm
Presley Stockton
Presley Stockton

The message comes just months after the death of Presley Stockton, who drowned in a pool while on a family holiday.

Four-year-old Presley, affectionately called “Little P”, had been on holiday with his parents Kirsty Jolley and Peter Stockton and extended family in Tenerife when he was found face down in the pool at the hotel complex on September 19.

An inquest, which concluded the Hindley tot died accidentally, heard how he had taken his armbands off to eat shortly before the tragic events unfolded.

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Coroner Alan Walsh said that Presley’s death was “unimaginable” and completely unforeseen.

Presley’s grandad, Mike Jolley, has since started campaigning for improved access to infant swimming lessons in the Wigan borough.

Now, in a bid to help protect families travelling abroad this holiday season, UK pool experts are warning of the “unseen” hazards in swimming pools overseas due to the difference in safety standards.

They warn that hazards in foreign pools can include unseen platforms close to the surface which can cause injury to divers.

Underwater filtration and heating systems can also present risks to swimmers who find themselves too close to badly installed fittings, which might not be visually obvious.

They say children are especially vulnerable to swimming pool dangers, but also warn young adults never to dive into pools head first without being certain of the water depth.

The dangers can be heightened by inadequate supervision and a lack of trained lifeguards at “many” holiday destinations.

To reduce risk of injury or entrapment, long hair should be tied back and children should not be allowed to explore near pool fittings underwater.

When water looks at all cloudy it should be avoided, including hot tubs or jacuzzis that are anything other than “crystal clear”.

Musty or stagnant odours, they say, could be a sign of a poorly maintained holiday pool, but the smell of chlorine shouldn’t ring any alarm bells unless its overpowering or starting to sting your eyes.

A spokesman for Compass Pools said: “We are asking holidaymakers to take a little extra care when swimming in pools overseas.

“Unfortunately not all countries have the same safety standards as we do in the UK. Even in Europe there is a wide variation in pool safety legislation, and many pools are designed with features such as underwater platforms which cannot be seen from the surface.

“These features can present real danger to pool users who are accustomed to UK safety standards.”