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Holiday park fined £100,000 after man almost drowned in pool

PUBLISHED: 15:14 26 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:02 26 September 2019

Olly Kimber, who almost drowned in a pool at Woodland Holiday Park, Trimingham   Picture: Olly Kimber

Olly Kimber, who almost drowned in a pool at Woodland Holiday Park, Trimingham Picture: Olly Kimber

Archant

A holiday park has been ordered to pay more than £100,000 after a swimmer was pulled unconscious from a pool with his survival on a knife-edge.

Olly Kimber (left), who almost drowned in a pool at Woodland Holiday Park, Trimingham. Pictured with then-Cromer Cricket Club teammates Michael Warnes (centre) and Ants Robinson. Picture: Olly KimberOlly Kimber (left), who almost drowned in a pool at Woodland Holiday Park, Trimingham. Pictured with then-Cromer Cricket Club teammates Michael Warnes (centre) and Ants Robinson. Picture: Olly Kimber

Oliver Kimber, then 26, was sedated and spent 20 hours in a chiller, after being dragged from the water by four women and given CPR by pool employees at Woodland Holiday Park in Trimingham on March 3 2017.

Popular Cromer and Bradfield cricketer and fitness trainer Mr Kimber was under water for up to five minutes, but has since gone on to make a full recovery.

On March 15 this year, Woodlands Caravan Site (Trimingham) Ltd and Baugh Associates appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court to admit health and safety breaches.

Alan Baugh, a safety consultant from Great Yarmouth, trading as Foley and Baugh Associates, provided health and safety consultancy and advice services to Woodlands.

The East of England Air Ambulance was called to Woodland Holiday Park in Trimingham on March 3 2017    Photo: supplied.The East of England Air Ambulance was called to Woodland Holiday Park in Trimingham on March 3 2017 Photo: supplied.

He admitted breaching his duty to ensure that swimmers were not exposed to the risks of drowning between December 1 2015 and April 1 2017.

Woodlands Caravan Site (Trimingham) Ltd, which operated and managed the pool, admitted breaching its duty to ensure that swimmers were not exposed to the risks of drowning between March 12 2015 and April 1 2017.

On Friday September 20 they were sentenced by District Judge John Woollard at Chelmsford Magistrates Court.

Woodlands was ordered to pay fines, costs and a victim surcharge totalling £103,120 and Foley and Baugh Associates is to pay of £5,137.

North Norfolk District Council prosecuted following an investigation into the incident.

Sarah Bütikofer, NNDC leader, said: "I hope that this outcome demonstrates the importance of all businesses ensuring the health and safety of their customers, especially in swimming pools where the risks are well known and the need for effective supervision is absolutely necessary."

She added: "The outcome for the swimmer could have been very different had it not been for the commendable actions of the members of the public in the pool at the time."

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During his recovery, Mr Kimber's mother Chrissie said: "He had been working and went swimming.

"He's a fitness fanatic. Apparently he did about 30 lengths quite quickly. He stood by the side of the pool and had a rest, then did another length and collapsed."

She added: "When they asked how long he had been under water, they said five minutes. At six minutes your brain starts to die."

Andrew Hird, from Woodlands, said: "Woodland holiday park has in its very early admission of guilt recognised that in this instance the paperwork specifically associated with the swimming pool failed under scrutiny to meet the highest levels of the health and safety standard.

"Since the incident and following our full co-operation with the investigative authorities alongside a rigorous internal review the company has implemented completely new normal and emergency operating procedures and has welcomed many thousands of guests to our leisure facilities."

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