Home   Tenterden   News   Article

Lifeguards at Tenterden Leisure Centre under fire from Kevin Hadlow as man saves drowning boy

By Tricia Jamieson

A father who dragged an unconscious boy from the bottom of Tenterden leisure centre pool has criticised the lifeguards on duty.

Kevin Hadlow said they should have spotted the boy. And he said that once he had got the boy, he could not make himself heard above the music in the pool.

“The lifeguards should be watching and should have seen what was going on,” he said. “It is a serious job, but they don’t seem to take it seriously.”

A woman died at Tenterden Leisure Centre
A woman died at Tenterden Leisure Centre

The drama happened at around 3.30pm on Saturday when Mr Hadlow, who lives in Ashford, was swimming with his young daughter, a friend and the friend’s son.

“I was standing in the pool while my daughter was swimming and noticed this boy under the water,” he said.

“I didn’t know if he was just seeing how long he could hold his breath, but then I saw one of his arms move in an unnatural way.

“I dived down and grabbed him, put him over my shoulder and started walking through the water to the side.

“The boy, who is about five or six, was not breathing and his lips had gone blue.

“I was shouting to try to attract the attention of the lifeguards, but the music was so loud.

“My friend saw what was happening and managed to get a lifeguard.

Stock image.
Stock image.

“When I got the boy out, they put him in the recovery position to work on him and there were a couple of doctors in the pool who helped bring him round.

“I was told he was breathing again and then he went off in an ambulance.”

Mr Hadlow went on: “I want to make sure that something is done about this. The first lifeguard who saw me just froze and did not seem to know what to do.

“He should have seen the boy at the bottom of the pool – he was clear to me and the pool was not that busy.

“There were only about 30 people in there and I have seen it far busier.

“I want to make sure that something is done about this. The first lifeguard who saw me just froze and did not seem to know what to do" - Kevin Hadlow

“My concern is that the lifeguards who sit on the steps should be able to see what is going on, but they are not always looking at the pool.”

The boy’s parents, who were at the pool, thanked Mr Hadlow for what he had done.

“I don’t want to be made out a hero,” he said. “The dad shook my hand and the mother was in tears.

“They had not seen what was happening.”

Mr Hadlow complained to the Health and Safety Executive but said he was just told to contact Ashford council.

“I could not see the point in doing that as the council owns the pool, so any investigation would be too insular,” he added. “I was not happy about that.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More