March 11, 2009

Death by pool filter

When I was younger and spent a lot of time playing in pools, the pull of the filter was always fun, but I never imagined this could happen.

Holiday teenager drowned after being sucked under by powerful pool filter

A British teenager drowned in a holiday swimming pool after becoming trapped against a filter vent, an inquest has heard.

Suction from the vent was so strong that it took six holidaymakers to free Ashley Surtees.

The trainee bricklayer died on a family holiday in Gran Canaria.

An inquest found the teenager drowned after becoming stuck to a pool vent designed to filter the water.

The 6in-wide vent was attached to a power pump with an engine running at between two and four horse power.

In the five or ten minutes that Ashley,  was in the water, suction pressure from the vent acting on his body became so intense that it required six holidaymakers to bring him to the surface.


Peter MacGregor of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, commissioned by Thomas Cook to examine the pool, said he tested the pump shortly after the incident in July 2007.

Using his own body and a plastic poolside table to test the force of the suction, Mr MacGregor concluded it was not powerful enough to draw anyone in, even if it could have held them in place once they had become stuck.

He described the accident as 'highly unusual'.

Posted by Jill Fallon at March 11, 2009 11:16 AM | Permalink