Inquest into Water Park drowning starts
1:48pm Wednesday 18th April 2012 in Cotswolds news
A MAN whose 15-year-old cousin drowned in a lake at the Cotswold Water Park told an inquest today he did not see any warning signs which might have prevented the tragedy.
Akshay Kumar, 18, was giving evidence at the start of a five day inquest into the tragic death of Kajil Devi in July 2010.
He told the Gloucester inquest he had not seen any warning signs at the water park beach where he was with three younger cousins using an inflatable boat in the water.
He was the only one of the group who could swim and he was in the water pulling the boat while the others were riding in it, he said.
He told deputy Gloucestershire coroner Tom Osborne that he pulled the boat to the beach so he could go to get something to eat and he warned his cousins to stay out of the deep water until he got back.
But two minutes later one of the children ran up and told him that Kajil was missing, he said.
Kajil, of South Road, Feltham, Middx, was later found in the water and despite the best efforts of lifeguards and others she could not be revived.
Claims were made at the time about a lack of supervision at the beauty spot by Water Park staff.
Kajil’s brother Amin Kumar said he only saw one lifeguard on duty when the girl disappeared at the lakeside beach.
Kajil and Amin were at the beauty spot with their parents Sunil Kumar 44, and his wife Nima Devi 41, together with aunts and uncles and their children.
It is understood Kajil was trying to rescue an eight-year-old cousin, who was drifting away in the boat, when she fell into the water.
At the time of the tragedy a spokesman for Watermark, which runs the attraction, said: "When the girl was pulled out of the water the nearest lifeguard administered CPRE.
"The other three lifeguards, in keeping with protocol, returned to their duties because they have a duty of care to the rest of the people on the beach and in the water.
If Mr Kumar saw one lifeguard that's because the others were on different parts of the beach."
Concerns were raised at the time of the tragedy about "insufficient first-aid officers and insufficient lifeguards on the beach" by Somerford Keynes Parish Council.