A four-year-old boy whose body was found in a swimming pool during a family holiday organised by an addiction support group has been named.
George Miller, from Weymouth, Dorset, died at the end of a week-long getaway organised by Devon Narcotics Anonymous after he was reported missing an hour-and-a-half earlier.
The youngster was found in a swimming pool at Knapp House Activity Centre near Bideford, Devon, on Monday and pronounced dead at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple.
An inquest was opened by the Exeter and Greater Devon Coroner today.
George Miller, from Weymouth, Dorset, died at the end of a week-long getaway organised by Devon Narcotics Anonymous
Tributes were left to George on his father Dusty’s Facebook page.
One family friend said: ‘Words are not enough. Such a gorgeous little boy.’
Another added: ‘The wee face of a perfect angel.’
Detective Inspector Austin Goss of the Public Protection Unit in Barnstaple is leading the investigation which he described as ‘sensitive and delicate’, but that it was important the inquiry was ‘as detailed and thorough as possible’.
George had been holidaying with his family on a special break for recovering drug addicts, but concern for his safety grew after he suddenly vanished.
A resident who lives next to the site said she had been told he went missing 90 minutes before he was found.
‘I was asked to help by staff at the centre.
‘They said the little boy had been last seen by his father at 1.30pm,’ she said.
‘Somehow he must have wandered into the pool building.
‘From my own knowledge I know that it is not open all the time – only when supervisors and lifeguards are on duty.’
A resident who lives next to the site said she had been told he went missing 90 minutes before he was found
A statement from the Devon Narcotics Anonymous Campout Committee said on Monday it was the sixth year in a row they had visited Knapp House.
The group spokesman said: ‘Our members have enjoyed the wonderful setting, visits to local beaches, and as has been true throughout out our relationship with Knapp House, great service from them.
‘One of the activities we organize with Knapp House is the supervised use of their swimming pool with their trained lifeguards.
‘Very tragically something has gone horrifically wrong, and a young child of one of our members drowned in the pool.
‘We are not aware of the exact details of how this happened, and the police are obviously investigating.
‘As a committee, we have worked tirelessly to try to provide a fabulous event for our fellow NA members, and we are devastated that a truly wonderful week has ended so tragically.
‘We find all attempt at expressing our sorrow and concern for the parents and siblings of this child inadequate, but as is normal in our fellowship, they will have plenty of support as they face their tragedy.
The youngster died while at Knapp House, near Bideford, Devon on Monday at the end of a week-long trip
‘In Narcotics Anonymous, we share no specific religious beliefs, but the entire campsite formed a circle, held hands, and prayed for the family and their lost child.’
A statement on behalf of Ashley and Stuart Clements, Knapp House’s directors, said: ‘The group had the use of the pool on a self-supervised basis for recreational use – it was not part of the planned activity program that we provide.
‘We are fully committed to understand exactly how this could have happened and will continue to liaise with the emergency services, the Health and Safety Executive and Narcotics Anonymous to establish this.’
It has also been reported that the rescue effort was hampered by the first ambulance on the scene becoming stranded with a flat tyre, meaning a second ambulance had to be called in, but this is not thought to have influenced the outcome of the case.
A spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: ‘The first ambulance on scene received a puncture whilst transporting the patient to North Devon District Hospital
‘A second ambulance was immediately allocated and was on scene within six minutes. This crew then carried on to the hospital.
‘Our crews and police officers on scene would have been doing everything they could to treat the patient.’
Anyone with information are asked to contact Police on 101 quoting reference 593 of 28/08/17.