South West Wales

Coroner's Mill Pond concern at third drowning inquest

Robert Mansfield Image copyright Handout
Image caption Robert Mansfield had spent his birthday celebrating with family and friends

A coroner is to raise safety concerns with council officials following the third drowning at a Pembrokeshire pond.

Mark Layton made the comments at the inquest into the death of Robert Mansfield who was celebrating his 18th birthday at the Mill Pond, Pembroke, when he drowned after going swimming.

The coroner ruled Mr Mansfield's death as accidental and said he had concerns about safety issues such as fencing.

Pembrokeshire council has said it will carry out improvements.

Mr Mansfield's aunt, Susan Mansfield, has started a petition calling for changes.

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Media captionRobert Mansfield's aunt, Susan, welcomed the coroner's pond safety action call

The Pembrokeshire coroner told the hearing in Milford Haven that he would use his powers to lodge a report with the council, and intended to raise concerns about flotation devices, lighting and fencing at the pond.

The council will have 56 days to respond formally.

However, in a letter to the coroner, a council engineer said the authority planned to improve signage and provide an extra flotation device at the barrage adjacent to the pond following a risk assessment.

After the inquest, Pembrokeshire council said it was undertaking a review of the hazards and risks around the pond, adding that a life-ring had been stolen.

"We also intend to erect signs warning people of the risk of infection from water-borne bacteria and advising against swimming," it said.

The two other men who have died in the water this year, Wayne Anthony Young, 52, and 57-year-old John Lyall, also drowned accidentally, the coroner ruled at their separate inquests.

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