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Date published: 15th March 2019

Two firms have pleaded guilty to failing to discharge their general health, safety and welfare duty after a swimmer was pulled unconscious from a pool two years ago.

Following an incident at the swimming pool at Woodland Holiday Park at Cromer Road, Trimingham, in March 2017, in which a swimmer got into difficulty and was under the water for more than five minutes before being rescued by other swimmers, North Norfolk District Council conducted an investigation.

The swimmer was hospitalised but made a good recovery, despite the time for which he was under water.

Norwich Magistrates’ Court today heard that NNDC investigated the system in operation for supervision of the pool, and the advice given to the pool operator in that regard, as well as examining the incident itself.

Woodlands Caravan Site (Trimingham) Ltd, the company which operated and managed the pool, was charged with breach of the duty it owed to do so in such a way as to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that swimmers there were not exposed to the risks of drowning between 12 March 2015 and 1 April 2017.

Alan Baugh, a safety consultant from Great Yarmouth, trading as Foley and Baugh Associates, provided health and safety consultancy and advice services to Woodlands Caravan Site (Trimingham) Ltd. He was charged with breach of the duty he owed to do so in such a way as to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that swimmers at the pool were not exposed to the risks of drowning between 1 December 2015 and 1 April 2017.

Both charges were breaches of duties under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, contrary to section 33(1)(a) of that Act.

Each defendant today entered a guilty plea. Sentencing was adjourned.

A council spokesman said: “The safety of the public is of paramount importance.

“Any swimmer, however experienced, may get into difficulty, and pool operators' pool supervision arrangements must be sufficient for the circumstances of their pools.

“This prosecution shows how seriously North Norfolk District Council will treat incidents where standards have not been met.

“Commercial operation of a swimming pool requires a rigorous approach to public safety, and advice and guidance should be sought from a proven specialist where need be.”

Free guidance is available on the Health and Safety Executive website www.hse.gov.uk.

Last updated: 15th March 2019