(Image: Andrew Webster/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

Boy, 4, drowns on Thomas Cook holiday after sneaking into adults-only pool


A four-year-old boy drowned in an Egyptian hotel swimming pool after getting through a gap in a barrier which separated the children's and adults-only zones during a Thomas Cook family holiday in Egypt.

"Adventurous" Isaac Webster was on holiday with parents Kelly Havey and Andy, along with brother Leo in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

He had been playing in the children's pool but as his mother was looking for sun cream he went into the larger pool after squeezing through a gap in a safety barrier.

When his mum realised she couldn't find him, she anxiously alerted a nearby lifeguard.

The youngster was found lying face down in the water just minutes later by the distraught mum.

Isaac was rushed to hospital after 20 minutes of CPR by staff, but died two days later after contracting infections in his lungs and airways because of the amount of water he had swallowed.

In hospital, the family were visited by officials from the British Embassy and Egyptian Police.
Isaac had 'no fear and was not scared of anything' (Image: Andrew Webster/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

An inquest heard the tragedy occurred on April 19, 2017 after Isaac's family, from Great Sankey, Warrington, Cheshire, booked an all inclusive package trip to the five star Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

Miss Havey told the Warrington hearing: ''Isaac was a very adventurous little boy, always in the accident book at nursery and what I would call a proper little boy no fear and not scared of anything. He was very happy and active and never kept still. He was always on the go playing outside.

“We arrived the day before on April 18, 2017. The kids pool was separate and there was a barrier that didn’t go all the way around the pool. You could easily get out of it and go into the adult one - there was a thin barrier.

“There was a pirate ship with slides, ropes and a bucket that fills with water and drops. Isaac wanted to get into the kids pool and play on the ship. We had sun beds directly in front so that we could see the kids the best we could. But there wasn’t any lifeguards that we could see or any hotel staff supervising. Around 10am there was a stampeded of children as the water starts.
With mum Kelly (Image: Andrew Webster/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

“The boys had gone to the welcome meeting with their dad and came back. Isaac wanted to go back in the pool so I sorted Isaac first and he went back to the kids pool.

“I turned round to get some sun cream and turned back and couldn’t see him. Was just looking around and there were lots of kids in the pool. Then we got into the pool and started walking around.

"I got out and tried to find somebody and noticed a lifeguard walking through the sun beds. He got in the pool with me but didn’t even ask what Isaac looked like and said he wasn’t there, said he will turn up.

“As soon as I got out of the pool I’ve seen Isaac floating in the middle of the adult one.”
With dad Andrew (Image: Andrew Webster/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

Miss Havey added: “It took a long time for the ambulance to come, about 25 to 30 minutes. The doctors in the hospital didn’t tell me anything, they never spoke. I had a German lady who was more interested in the insurance details.

“The doctors later said he was showing improvement and a reaction to pain - we could see the reactions for ourselves. The doctor took away the breathing tube and he was breathing but not fully on his own.

“The evening before he passed away the situation was worsening. He had a severe chest infection and couldn’t control his temperature and was still on the ventilator.

"They wouldn’t let us in the room and in the morning he was still very poorly and a doctor came out and spoke to Andy. And passed on the news that Isaac had passed away.”
Isaac was always in the accident book at school (Image: Liverpool Echo)

Danielle Stocks who was employed by Thomas Cook as a destination management worker said: ''Isaac, his parents and brother had booked to stay from April 18 to the 25 on an all inclusive package. I was made aware of the incident the day it happened by phone.

''I went to the hospital and once I arrived met with Isaacs mother and father and brother. They didn’t leave the hospital and I tried to support the family and was often present when they received updates from the doctors. I was entertaining Isaac's brother to try and distract him.

"I simply wanted to support them in any way we could. On April 20, Isaac's condition suddenly deteriorated and doctors came rushing in and closed the ICU to everyone. They managed to resuscitate Isaac and the mother and father tried to get some sleep.
Isaac was found face down in the pool (Image: Andrew Webster/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

''But I got a call about 6am and by the time I got there sadly Isaac had passed away. Police came and I also liaised with the hotel and Thomas cook head office. I received a call on April 23 to say the parents would need to go to court to finalise any witness statements.

''I accompanied Isaac's father into the court and it was a very quick court hearing. The judge asking the question whether he blamed anyone, whether anyone was at fault and he said no. Although there was some confusion around lifeguards, it was nobody’s fault. The family were not told a lot about this court hearing.

''I was involved heavily with Isaac's family but did take a step back when the grandparents arrived as I didn’t want to intrude such a situation. I’m not aware of any changes made by the hotel as a result of this incident.''
It was a tragic accident (Image: Andrew Webster/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

Mark Jordan, Director for health, safety and security at Thomas Cook, said: “Thomas Cook provided service representatives but did not own, manage or control the hotel’s facilities or its staff.

"I have no record of any previous similar incidents at this hotel. The hotel management have confirmed by email they are also not aware of any previous similar incidents.”

Recording a narrative conclusion Coroner Alan Moore, said: “Isaac Webster was a fit, healthy and very active four-year-old boy. It is likely that he has gone between the two pools using the gap in the barrier.

“He was taken to the Nile hospital and put on a ventilator but he developed an infection. At first he seemed to be showing some signs of improvement but sadly he deteriorated and became very poorly indeed. He developed a chest infection and sadly Isaac didn’t respond to further treatment and passed away on April 21, 2017 at 11am.
Isaac was adventurous (Image: Andrew Webster/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

“Isaac has died because of the drowning episode in the pool. Though it didn’t cause his death at the time, he took in water clearly and the taking in of that had been an important factor which contributed to Isaacs overall deterioration. I am really sorry we have to meet this way. It must have been absolutely heartbreaking for you.”

Following the tragedy, devastated friends and family managed to quickly raise £11,000, more than double its original £5,000 target.

It was set up by Sankey Strikes - a Warrington Junior Football Club - where Isaac’s older brother Leo played for the Under 8 squad.

The website was set up to help raise funds to bring Isaac’s body home and pay for funeral costs and bills for the bereaved family.

At the time, Isaac's heartbroken dad posted a photograph of his son and said: “Our little adventure boy sadly passed away this morning at 10.15 UK time.”

The day before he posted a picture of him playing in the garden, saying: “Me, Kelly and Leo want to say a huge thanks to everybody for their kind thoughts and prayers for Isaac."

Before his death, Isaac's sister Millie also wrote: “Please take some time to think and pray for my gorgeous little brother Isaac who is critical and on life support in Egypt.

"I love you so much.”