Celtic Manor golf buggy lake death 'accidental'

Oliver Floyd Image copyright Oliver Floyd/Facebook
Image caption Mr Floyd was a keen rugby player and was described as 'passionate' and 'talented' in tributes

The death of a man who drowned after a weed spraying buggy toppled into a lake at a Newport golf resort was accidental, an inquest jury has found.

Oliver Floyd, 20, got stuck after the vehicle, driven by his father Nicholas Rawlings, lost traction on Celtic Manor Resort's Twenty Ten course last March.

Newport Coroners' Court heard the buggy overturned in the lake trapping Mr Floyd, of Ross-on-Wye.

After the inquest, his family said they were planning on taking legal advice.

In a statement, they said they still had some concerns about what they had heard during the hearing.

"Our lives have been shattered with the loss of Oliver. He was the most loveable, cheekiest and kindest son, and he has left this huge great hole in our lives that will never ever be filled," the family added.

The inquest heard the ground at the golf course was saturated because it had been raining and that Mr Rawlings, an experienced groundsman, had been "worried" about continuing to spray the course because of the conditions.

After the buggy began to slide into the lake, he told his son to "climb out behind me".

Image copyright Ross-On-Wye RFC
Image caption Oliver Floyd played for Ross-on-Wye RFC and was described as a 'great friend and clubman to us all'

Mr Floyd became trapped and, despite his father managing to get his head level with the water and other workers helping him to breathe through a hose, they were unable to free him.

The jury heard the cause of death was as a result of "immersion", when the "vehicle overturned trapping the deceased".

In her summary, Wendy James, the assistant coroner for Gwent, said the embankment was at an angle of 17.5 degrees, but that the vehicle should not have been driven on a slope more than 14 degrees.

Mrs James said there were no signs in the cab explaining the "slope tolerance".

Celtic Manor Resort said it had now changed some of the rules about maintenance on its golf courses, including introducing no mowing zones.

The inquest heard both men, who worked for Complete Weed Control South and Central Wales Ltd, had received health and safety training on the vehicle.

A representative from the Celtic Manor said "appropriate risk assessments were in place".

Alan Abel, director of Complete Weed Control Central and South Wales Ltd, said: "Words cannot express how devastated we all are about the tragic accident."

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