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Firms admit health and safety breaches after swimmer Olly Kimber nearly drowns

PUBLISHED: 17:21 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:42 15 March 2019

Cricketer and fitness trainer Olly Kimber was underwater for more than five minutes at Woodland Holiday Park after collapsing while swimming. Photo: Olly Kimber

Cricketer and fitness trainer Olly Kimber was underwater for more than five minutes at Woodland Holiday Park after collapsing while swimming. Photo: Olly Kimber

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Two firms have admitted breaching their health and safety duties in connection with an incident where a swimmer was pulled unconscious from a pool at a north Norfolk holiday park.

Olly Kimber (left), collapsed while swimming. Pictured with then-Cromer Cricket Club teammates Michael Warnes (centre) and Ants Robinson. Picture: Olly KimberOlly Kimber (left), collapsed while swimming. Pictured with then-Cromer Cricket Club teammates Michael Warnes (centre) and Ants Robinson. Picture: Olly Kimber

Cromer and Bradfield cricketer and fitness trainer Olly Kimber was underwater for more than five minutes at Woodland Holiday Park, Cromer Road, Trimingham, on Friday, March 3, 2017, after collapsing while swimming.

The then 26-year-old was sedated and spent 20 hours in a chiller, after being dragged from the water in a lifeless state by four women and given CPR by pool employees.

Following the incident, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) conducted an investigation, and Mr Kimber, from the North Walsham area, made a full recovery and went on to open a gym in Aylsham.

During his recovery, Mr Kimber’s mother Chrissie, told this newspaper: “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.”

READ MORE: Mum’s joy as Cromer and Bradfield cricketer Olly Kimber fights back after being pulled unconscious from swimming pool

Employers Woodland Caravan Site and Baugh Associates appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court on Friday, March 15, both charged with failing to discharge their general health, safety and welfare duty to employees, and failing to ensure swimmers were not at risk of drowning.

Alan Baugh, a safety consultant from Great Yarmouth, trading as Foley and Baugh Associates, provided health and safety consultancy and advice services to Woodlands Caravan Site (Trimingham) Ltd.

He was charged with breaching his duty to ensure that swimmers at the pool were not exposed to the risks of drowning between 1 December 2015 and 1 April 2017.

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

Both were breaches of duties under section three of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

READ MORE: Man who beat depression and almost drowned opens new gym in Norfolk market town

Pascal Bates was prosecuting on behalf of the council, while Woodland Caravan Site was represented by James Buchanan and Alan Baugh was represented by Duncan Astill.

District judge Nicholas Watson adjourned the case for sentencing without setting a date, and told the court there was no need for him to impose bail conditions to either defendant.

A council spokesman said: “The safety of the public is of paramount importance.

“Any swimmer, however experienced, may get into difficulty, and pool operators’ pool supervision arrangements must be sufficient for the circumstances of their pools.

“This prosecution shows how seriously the council will treat incidents where standards have not been met.

“Commercial operation of a swimming pool requires a rigorous approach to public safety, and advice and guidance should be sought from a proven specialist where need be.”

READ MORE: Firms charged after swimmer nearly drowned at pool

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