News, Culture & Society

British boy, four, drowned in Tenerife hotel swimming pool

Presley Stockton (pictured with his grandfather) died just a day after arriving at the four-star Paradise Park hotel in Los Cristianos for a family holiday

A British four-year-old who drowned in a Tenerife hotel swimming pool had his armbands removed after complaining that he couldn’t eat properly, an inquest heard.

Presley Stockton died just a day after arriving at the four-star Paradise Park hotel in Los Cristianos for a family holiday.

The ‘much-loved’ youngster was pulled out of the pool after being spotted face down by a lifeguard on September 19 last year.

Paramedics and the air ambulance were called to the hotel complex at around 3.40pm but were unable to resuscitate him despite their best efforts.

A post-mortem examination conducted at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital found that Presley, from Hindley near Wigan, Greater Manchester, died from drowning.

An inquest heard Presley had been ‘very excited’ about going away with family and friends, especially his mother Kirsty Jolley and dad Peter Stockton.

Relatives didn’t attend the hearing, which consisted entirely of written statements from police, medical staff and members of Presley’s family.

A post-mortem examination conducted at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital found that Presley, from Hindley near Wigan, Greater Manchester, died from drowning 

A post-mortem examination conducted at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital found that Presley, from Hindley near Wigan, Greater Manchester, died from drowning 

The 'much-loved' youngster was pulled out of the hotel pool after being spotted face down on September 19 last year

The ‘much-loved’ youngster was pulled out of the hotel pool after being spotted face down on September 19 last year

Evidence read out at the inquest said the youngster had been ‘particularly excited’ about swimming in the hotel’s pool area.

In a written statement, Mr Stockton said: ‘He was bought some armbands to wear around the pool and other items to play with by his family.

‘On September 19, Presley and his family had been around the pool, where he played wearing his armbands.

‘At lunchtime, in the early afternoon, he had something to eat.

‘He complained that he couldn’t eat properly with the armbands on so they were taken off.’

A short time later, the inquest heard, the youngster headed for the pool with a group of young friends who he had been playing with nearby.

Evidence read out at the inquest said the youngster had been 'particularly excited' about swimming in the hotel's pool area

Evidence read out at the inquest said the youngster had been ‘particularly excited’ about swimming in the hotel’s pool area

Senior coroner Alan Walsh said: ‘Suddenly his father heard one of the children shouting “Presley”.

‘It was discovered that he had gone in the pool. He was rescued and attempts were made to resuscitate him, but sadly he had died at the hotel.’

It was claimed by family members that the one lifeguard on duty that afternoon had been ‘chatting to the girls around the pool’ when Presley fell into trouble. 

The hotel has since insisted that two lifeguards were on duty at the time.

Senior coroner Mr Walsh concluded that Presley’s death was accidental.

He said: ‘I am satisfied that precautions were taken. He had been playing around the pool wearing armbands.

‘The problem seems to have arisen when he had something to eat.

‘They were taken off for a short time and during that short time he was with his friends around the pool, he went in and sadly became unresponsive.

‘I accept that it was a sudden, unexpected event with unintended consequences.

‘I am greatly saddened by the tragedy of a four-year-old excited about his holiday and being with family and friends.

‘There were precautions taken with the exception of that very short period. It’s unimaginable to me that this should occur in this moment.’

Presley, known to his family Little P, had just started school.

An inquest heard Presley had been 'very excited' about going away with family and friends, especially his mother Kirsty Jolley and father Peter Stockton

Family and friends have also paid tribute to 'one-in-a-million whirlwind' Presley

An inquest heard Presley had been ‘very excited’ about going away with family and friends, especially his mother Kirsty Jolley (Pictured left with Presley) and father Peter Stockton 

At the time of his death, Nicola Green, headteacher at St Peter’s CE Primary School in Hindley, wrote an emotional tribute to the ‘bubbly’ youngster.

She said: ‘Presley had only been with us a short time but was already a part of St Peter’s family.

‘He will always be part of our school community and remembered by us all for his bubbly personality.’

Since his death, the family – in particular, Presley’s grandad Mike Jolley – have campaigned to raise the importance of swimming lessons for youngsters.

Mr Jolley, 49, said his grandson had been taken to the swimming baths as an infant – but had never properly learned how to swim.

He said: ‘When I was a child it was compulsory to take swimming lessons, even at nursery. It should be like that now.

Paramedics and the air ambulance were called to the hotel complex at around 3.40pm on September 19 but were unable to resuscitate him despite their best efforts 

Paramedics and the air ambulance were called to the hotel complex at around 3.40pm on September 19 but were unable to resuscitate him despite their best efforts 

A post-mortem examination conducted at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital found that Presley, from Hindley near Wigan, Greater Manchester, concluded he died from drowning 

A post-mortem examination conducted at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital found that Presley, from Hindley near Wigan, Greater Manchester, concluded he died from drowning 

‘There should be more funding for youngsters of pre-school age. I want to do this for Presley. I want to make people more aware of the importance of learning how to swim.’

Mike is hoping to lobby the Government to provide more funding for preschool swimming lessons.

His campaign has been backed by Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue, who said: ‘This would be a fitting tribute to the memory of Presley.

‘Swimming is a vital life skill that helps to keep people fit and healthy but also teaches children how to stay safe in and around water.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.