Boy (10) drowns in barred pool

2011-10-25 00:00

DESPITE the protracted efforts of bystanders and paramedics to try and save the life of a Mooi River boy, he died at the edge of a swimming pool at Treverton School on Sunday.

Ten-year-old Jody-Ross Newcombe was not a pupil at the private school.

Apparently, he had gone to the pool with his neighbours, a man and woman and five other children, who also do not have any links to the school.

It is believed that the couple were teaching the children how to swim.

His father, Neville Newcombe (72), said he is still trying to piece everything together.

“I wasn’t aware that he had gone for a swim,” said Newcombe.

He told The Witness that the last time he saw his last-born son was on Sunday morning when he went to church with a friend.

“We haven’t got the whole story together. Jody’s mother is not taking it well,” the distraught father said.

His father said Jody-Ross loved motorbikes and he will miss attending rallies with him.

A spokesperson for Nsele Emergency Service said they received a call from a bystander at the pool to say there was a child who was not breathing.

“When we arrived there were people doing CPR.

“ We took over and called for Jack Haskins of Netcare, an advanced life support paramedic.”

Attempts to resuscitate the child went on for an hour and 20 minutes.

The children, who were gathered at the pool, were asked to leave.

“It’s not nice for a child to see this happening. It was very tense. No one believed what was happening. Someone contacted the child’s parents.”

Newcombe was a Grade 4 pupil at Ai Kajee Primary School.

His principal, Ayesha Kazi, sent condolences to the family and described the young boy as “very polite with good manners”.

His class teacher, Reshika Kandhai, said that Jody-Ross was showing progress in his school work.

“I called him ‘son’ because he was lovely. I was really fond of him. He just put a smile on my face. All the kids are devastated and he’ll be missed by all,” Kandhai explained.

The principal said Jody-Ross’s classmates will undergo counselling because they are having a hard time accepting the news.

Executive head of Treverton School Noel Coetzee said Jody-Ross and the people who brought him there had no authorisation to use the pool, which is fenced.

“There’s a notice on the gate restricting access and this was ignored,” Coetzee added.

The school hosted an equestrian event on Sunday. It is possible that the couple with the boy attended the function and stopped at the pool afterwards to swim.

“Our sincere condolences got out to the Newcombe family on their tragic loss of their young son,” Coetzee said.

The family said they have not made funeral arrangements because they are waiting for the autopsy results.

The police have opened an inquest docket.

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