Drowning sparks alert

The City of Joondalup is urging residents with a pool or spa to ensure security gates and fences meet relevant safety requirements.
The City of Joondalup is urging residents with a pool or spa to ensure security gates and fences meet relevant safety requirements.

Following the release of a report investigating the drowning death of Kalgoorlie three-year-old James Gregory Box in March 2012, the Coroner of WA has recommended two ways local governments can minimise the danger associated with children and swimming pools.

The first is to remind people of the importance of maintaining proper child supervision and for pool safety barriers to be provided and maintained.

The second is to inform new tenants at properties with a pool of their right to notify the local government and their real estate agent about matters relating to the safety of the pool.

James was found dead in the pool at his rental home.

At the coronial inquest held in September, the court heard that James’s mother and her former partner had made several complaints to their real estate agent regarding a broken sliding door that provided direct access to the pool.

‘Drowning is the single biggest cause of accidental death among children under five years old and it is important that every resident takes responsibility to make sure their pool or spa complies with current regulations,’ Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said.

‘Parents and guardians are also reminded to keep watch of children at all times around pools and spas, with even a brief breakdown in supervision capable of leading to tragic consequences.’

Residents who have a swimming pool, permanent and portable spas, paddling pools or indoor pools must register with the city and comply with safety inspections.

Pools and spas should be fully surrounded by complying barriers, all doors accessing a pool must have a separating fence and gates accessing a pool or spa area must be at least 1.2m high.