Leeds & West Yorkshire

Rocco Wright drowning 'should have been prevented'

Rocco Wright Image copyright FAMILY HANDOUT
Image caption Rocco Wright's family said his organs had been donated to help others

The father of a three-year-old who drowned in a leisure centre pool has told an inquest his son's death "could and should have been prevented".

Steven Wright described his panic as he searched for Rocco at the David Lloyd Leisure club in Leeds, before pulling him out of the main pool.

He said he had not looked in the pool at first because his son had a "natural fear of water" and was perhaps hiding.

At the inquest he criticised the lifeguards' poolside visibility.

More Yorkshire stories

Mr Wright pulled Rocco out of the pool in Tongue Lane, Moortown on 21 April 2018 but his son was declared dead in hospital the next day.

The inquest jury was told Rocco had been in the water for at least two minutes.

Addressing Wakefield Coroner's Court earlier, Mr Wright said: "We, as a family, are concerned at the levels of health and safety at the David Lloyd pool on the day Rocco died and hope they have been resolved, especially the lifeguard visibility at the pool area.

"We don't want this to happen to anyone else.

"We believe Rocco's death could and should have been prevented."

Cancelled lesson

Rocco's mother Catherine Wright confirmed in a statement her son had "never been a natural water baby".

"I would not say he was scared of water but fearful of getting in at first," the court heard.

Mr Wright told the inquest he took his four year-old daughter and her brother to the club every Saturday and on that day had planned to take Rocco swimming while his daughter had her lesson.

He said he had just been informed her lesson had been cancelled when he realised Rocco was no longer by his side.

Image caption Police were called to David Lloyd fitness club at 09:45 on 21 April 2018

Still holding Rocco's life-jacket he said he began to search for his son on poolside and along a corridor, thinking perhaps he was hiding.

'Outline at the bottom'

He said when he could not find Rocco in the baby pool either he "started to really, really panic".

"That's when I turned around and looked at the main pool."

He added: "That's when I saw him," he said.

"I just saw an outline at the bottom of the pool. It was Rocco."

The inquest is expected to last for seven days.

Image caption Hundreds of mourners attended Rocco's funeral in May 2018

Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to yorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites