A young girl drowned in a swimming pool at her best friend’s birthday party where there was no lifeguard on duty, an inquest heard.
Maya Kantengule was pulled from the bottom of the pool but was declared dead later that day after being rushed to hospital, said senior coroner Jacqueline Lake.
The inquest heard how the seven-year-old died with her parents, Livial and Glenda, at her bedside after Mr Kantengule had received a message telling him there had been an accident at the pool.
Mr Kantengule, who was at the hearing with his wife, said in a written statement that it was the birthday party of his daughter’s best friend, who had moved to a different school.
The tragic incident occurred at the Waveney River Centre holiday park in Burgh St Peter, Norfolk, on May 1, 2016, the inquest in Norwich heard.
Mr Kantengule said he spoke to Jane Rainer, the mother of his daughter’s best friend, as he arrived and decided not to wait at the pool during the party as it was mostly girls and mothers, and his wife was at work.
As he was driving home he had several missed calls on his phone, and returned there with his wife after receiving a message that there had been an accident.
Her father said: “I was aware that Maya could swim but neither myself or my wife had ever seen her swim.”
He said he did not ask if there was a lifeguard, Mrs Rainer did not mention anything and he assumed his daughter would be “adequately supervised” in the pool.
Maya, who was born in Middlesbrough, lived near Lowestoft, Suffolk and attended Dell Primary School.
Jaqueline Bell, a teaching assistant at the school, said in a written statement that Maya started weekly swimming lessons in reception year, spending around 10 to 15 minutes in the water each time, for a few months of the year while the pool was open.
“She was nervous in the water and would use armbands and a wobble,” she said. “She could take her feet off the bottom with support but couldn’t do it on her own.
“The last time Maya would have swum was July 2015.”
Chris Coker, environmental health officer at South Norfolk Council, told the inquest that the indoor pool at Waveney River Centre could be privately hired and was 5ft at its deepest.
He said signs were up stating there were no lifeguards on duty, that people swim at their own risk and should not do so if they are not a confident swimmer.
The inquest, expected to last two days, continues.