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School fined for safety failings at summer camp

14 September 2016

A School in Canterbury, has been fined for safety failings at a summer activity camp.

Canterbury Crown Court heard a seven year old boy was at a summer activity camp run by St Edmunds School. Whilst taking part in a scheduled swim he got into difficulties and struggled for over three minutes before becoming motionless in the water.

The lifeguards noticed he was in trouble and retrieved him. He regained consciousness after CPR but did develop pneumonitis as a result of the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 1 August 2014, found that the lifeguards were not effectively managed and monitored to ensure that they were constantly vigilant.

Two out of the three lifeguards did not hold a current, in date lifeguard qualification

St Edmunds School Canterbury, of St Thomas Hill, Canterbury, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9669.19.

For further information on managing health and safety in swimming pools visit:

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:  and guidance at
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