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Schoolboy, 11, drowned in campsite lagoon ‘while lifeguard searched for his goggles’


A SCHOOLBOY drowned in a campsite lagoon while the on-duty lifeguard searched for their goggles, an inquest heard.

Jake Taylor, just 11-years-old, drowned in a French lagoon while on holiday with his family in August 2019.

Little Jake sadly couldn't be saved when he was pulled from the water by a group of teenagers

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Little Jake sadly couldn’t be saved when he was pulled from the water by a group of teenagersCredit: MEN Media
Jake visited Disneyland Paris the day before he died

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Jake visited Disneyland Paris the day before he diedCredit: MEN Media

The lad from Hull died in a Paris hospital after the incident in a busy swimming lagoon at the La Croix Du Vieux Pont campsite in Northern France.

He had been away with his mum, dad and four brothers and had visited Disneyland Paris the day before his death.

Senior coroner Professor Paul Marks concluded the death was an accident.

The inquest heard from paramedic Rebecca Wilson who said she rushed to Jake’s aide when he got into trouble.

In a statement she told the inquest: “I saw people giving Jake CPR and, as a registered paramedic, I offered my services.

“I spoke to his mum who said Jake had been missing for five minutes and had pleaded with the lifeguard to look for Jake but seemed reluctant to.

“She said he was more concerned with trying to find his goggles.

“It was a group of teenagers who managed to pull Jake out and when I arrived there was no lifeguard present.

“I began chest compressions. I knew he needed further treatment but there was no medical equipment available at that point.

“After 30 minutes an anaesthetist turned up and I told him my concerns. Then police and medics arrived and I was ushered away.”

A year-long investigation into Jake’s death was led by French police who confirmed no criminal proceedings would be pursued against any involved parties.

It means the campsite owners, the European Camping Group, and tour operator, Venue Holidays, or any other parties, including the lifeguard on duty at the time of Jake’s death, will not face criminal action.

The on-duty lifeguard told investigators that he had needed his goggles in order to be able to see underwater, the inquest was told.

Professor Marks said: “The lifeguard’s explanation was that he needed his goggles to be able to see underwater but also felt it was difficult to search for Jake because there were so many clients in the water.”

The pathologist found Jake had died due to drowning and medical records showed he had no underlying health conditions.

Prof Marks praised Ms Wilson for her attempts to save Jake.

He said: “The actions of Rebecca Wilson are worthy of special mention.

“She perceived the young man was in trouble and used all her skills and expertise to save his life. But she was frustrated by the lack of equipment and difficulties in liaising with French staff on hand.

‘HEART OF GOLD’

“I would like to commend her for her actions and her attempts to save Jake’s life.”

A heartbreaking statement was read out from Jake’s parents Lance and Hannah Taylor.

It said: “Where do we start with writing a character reference for the most caring and loving son. He had a heart of gold and cared about everyone.

“If you were feeling down he would make you smile and give you the most loving hugs. He would not do anything if he thought he might get hurt.

“He had a lot of friends at school and the teachers loved him.

“Jake enjoyed sports, such as cricket and football, but he enjoyed online gaming the most. He was such a kind hearted young man.”

Solicitor Paul McClorry, of Hudgell Solicitors, told Hull Live last year there were many unanswered questions as to why no one was able to act quickly enough to save Jake, and questions surrounding the depth of the lagoon.

He said: “Many holidaymakers who have visited the site have raised concerns about the depth of the lagoon in certain areas, both people who were there at the same time as Jake’s family and people who had visited previously.

“They were of the opinion that parts of the lagoon were deeper than the 1.8m advertised, so that of course is an area which we feel needs further clarity.”

His mum Hannah Taylor previously said her and husband Lance ha given
their lawyers permission to press for more answers.

She previously said: “What it comes down to is that no one
will get charged, but our solicitor can push for more to get the pool
properly investigated. We will fight for Jake.”

Jake had been on holiday with his parents and four brothers

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Jake had been on holiday with his parents and four brothersCredit: MEN Media

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