A young girl drowned in a swimming pool at her best friend’s birthday party where there was no lifeguard on duty, an inquest heard. Maya Kantengule was pulled from the bottom of the pool but was declared dead later that day after being rushed to hospital, said senior coroner Jacqueline Lake. The inquest heard how the seven-year-old died with her parents, Livial and Glenda, at her bedside after Mr Kantengule had received a message telling him there had been an accident at the pool.
Mr Kantengule stated that it was the birthday party of his daughter’s best friend, who had moved to a different school. Mr Kantengule said he spoke to Jane Rainer, the mother of his daughter’s best friend, as he arrived and decided not to wait at the pool during the party as it was mostly girls and mothers, and his wife was at work. As he was driving home he had several missed calls on his phone, and returned there with his wife after receiving a message that there had been an accident.
Her father said: “I was aware that Maya could swim but neither myself or my wife had ever seen her swim.” He said he did not ask if there was a lifeguard, Mrs Rainer did not mention anything and he assumed his daughter would be “adequately supervised” in the pool. Chris Coker, an environmental health officer, told the inquest that the indoor pool at Waveney River Centre could be privately hired and was 5ft at its deepest. He said signs were up stating there were no lifeguards on duty, that people swim at their own risk and should not do so if they are not a confident swimmer.