AN inquest has started into the death of a toddler who drowned on a family holiday in Tunisia.
Loui Aspinall, aged two, was staying at the Houda Golf and Beach Resort in Skanes with his dad Gavin, mum Emma Hollingsworth and six-year-old sister Darcy when he was pulled from the hotel pool on September 25 last year.
His family have launched a petition calling for fully trained lifeguards to be on duty at all times and to have medical equipment – including defibrillators and oxygen – at all holiday resort pools and public pools in the UK and abroad.
At Bolton Coroners’ Court on Tuesday, Miss Hollingsworth, from Hindley Green, said that in the days leading up to Loui’s death the family spent their time by the pool and around the hotel.
“I can’t remember actually seeing lifeguards sat by the pool but I did see them walking around,” she said.
She said that either she or Mr Aspinall would always take the children into the pool and Loui always wore both armbands and an inflatable ring.
The court heard how Miss Hollingsworth had been lying on her front in the shallow end, facing away from the pool at the time of the toddler’s death.
“When we came back from lunch, Gavin took Loui into the water and I just thought that they were still in the pool,” she said.
“When I turned around to sit back on the sun lounger that is when I saw Loui on the side of the pool and I ran round to him.”
Loui was pulled from the water at 1.19pm, around seven minutes after Mr Aspinall had taken Loui into the pool.
Perinatal consultant pathologist Melanie Newbold, who conducted the post mortem examination, told the court there was nothing to suggest Loui had been anything but a healthy little boy.
The inquest was adjourned until next Wednesday, May 14, due to unforeseen circumstances delaying the start of the hearing.
Almost 900 people have signed the Aspinall’s petition.