Friday, August 23

Young boy dies at Center Parcs in Longleat after falling ill while playing with children in sub-tropical pool.

A horrified mother screamed 'wake up' after her young son died while playing in a sub-tropical indoor pool at a Center Parks in Wiltshire, it has been claimed. The young boy died on Saturday, August 17 after suddenly being 'taken ill' while playing with three other children at the holiday park in Longleat. Guests watched in horror as staff rushed to the stricken boy, but desperate attempts to resuscitate him were in vain and he failed to respond. One shocked eyewitness claimed adults and children tried to carry on using the slides around him - as he lay dead in the water. And another said they arrived at the pool to see 'a lot of people crying' and alarms sounding as staff 'rushed around' trying to get a handle of the situation. Staff at the holiday park provided CPR 'with the assistance of medically trained members of the public' until paramedics arrived, a spokeswoman said. Center Parcs said it was 'deeply saddened' by the death of the young boy and that it experienced 'very challenging circumstances' that day. 
News of the tragedy emerged six days after the incident after distraught families started writing about their experiences on social media. One woman said: 'Us and about 20 other people saw this happen on Saturday. It was the worst thing I've ever witnessed and have not been able to get the boy and his family out of my head, or his mum screaming for him to wake up.' Center Parcs handled it terribly and there were children and adults coming up to use the slides and outdoor area while the boy was lying dead on the floor.'There were no boards up anywhere to offer support to the people who witnessed it or anything, it all just carried on as normal they didn't even shut the pool.'And a member of the public administered CPR because the lifeguards were taking too long to come.' Dozens of shocked families were splashing around in the pool 'paradise' at around 3.39pm when it happened, leaving them 'upset and anxious' during their break. One eyewitness, who arrived at the pool soon after the incident said: 'We arrived at the pool as all the alarms were sounding. 'There were a lot of people crying and lifeguards and staff rushing around. 'We asked what was going on and a very upset lady said she was outside when a young boy collapsed and was having CPR performed on him. 'An air ambulance landed and took him off. The whole area was closed off for a few hours and the atmosphere was very somber and upsetting. 'Our weekend was constantly thinking of the family and if he pulled through. None of the staff seemed to know, even on Monday when we left. 'I’m glad I didn’t have my children there with me, as they spend their entire time in the pools and to witness this first hand would have been horrifying for them.'The woman, who had traveled from Southampton, added that she would have preferred it if the pool had been kept closed throughout the evening. She said: 'They kept the outside area closed for about three or four hours. Personally out of respect I think they should have kept it closed for the rest of the evening. 'Also they could have been a little more honest which would have stopped people guessing and coming up with their own stories.' But she added that screens had been put up relatively quickly following the incident, saying: 'They wouldn’t allow anybody past a certain point and the screens were already up by the time we tried to get through.' Another eyewitness said: 'It was reported to us that sadly a child had passed away. There had been some very intense resuscitation attempts by staff.' I have been shocked and surprised that no acknowledgment or information was given by Center Parcs.' Everyone was very upset and anxious about the pool area. Center Parcs did not even acknowledge the event anywhere.' The complex of self-catering villas, pools, shops, a boating lake, and sports center in Longleat Forest at Warminster is packed with thousands of families during the summer holidays. In a statement, Center Parcs said: 'We are deeply saddened by the tragic news that a young guest passed away after becoming unwell whilst at Longleat Forest.' Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time. We are continuing to offer our support to the family and to our employees who provided immediate assistance. When asked about the park's response to the incident, a spokeswoman said: 'Our team responded professionally and appropriately in very challenging circumstances. 'They provided CPR, with the assistance of medically trained members of the public, until paramedics arrived and screened the area from view while the boy was being treated.' At the family’s request, we did not share any further information on the boy’s condition until the family were comfortable with us doing so.'We have remained in regular contact with the family throughout the week and they have passed on their gratitude to the team for the way they responded and the immediate medical care they provided.' South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust was called to the scene at 3.39pm on Saturday. Two rapid response vehicles, an ambulance, and an air ambulance attended. Center Parcs opened its Longleat Forest holiday village in 1997 and now operates five short break holiday villages in the UK and one in Ireland. The company came to the UK in July 1987, when it opened its first village in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, offering short break holidays on a year-round basis. It offers short breaks in the forest, delivering a range of leisure facilities and more than 200 indoor and outdoor activities. Villages are set within around 400 acres of natural woodland, with trees, streams, and wildlife surrounding accommodation. At the heart of each village is the Sub-Tropical Swimming Paradise, an extensive range of restaurants, cafés, and retail outlets.

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