Toddler seen wandering around caravan park in pyjamas before drowning in lake
A 16-month-old boy died after drowning in a lake at a caravan site during a family holiday despite being spotted by passers-by wandering around alone, an inquest heard.
Despite multiple resuscitation attempts at the Lakeside Caravan Park in Winsford, Cheshire, Corey James Holland was taken to hospital in cardiac arrest and pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
An inquest at Cheshire Coroner's Court heard Corey was found face up in the water by dad Phillip Holland, the Daily Record reports.
Phillip, his partner Kimberley and their children were watching TV on a pull-out bed before Phillip put Corey to bed in a cot in August 2019, the court heard.
Phillip said he checked on Corey when he put the older children to bed and said he was 'fast asleep'. The couple then fell asleep on the pull out bed in the living room.
At around 8am on August 22, the court heard that Phillip woke up and realised the tot was not in his bed and one of the caravan doors was slightly ajar.
Phillip then woke Kimberley up and told her that Corey was not in his bed, and the family began frantically searching for him.
The dad said in his statement he asked a woman who was there whether she had seen a baby and she said she had.
Phillip then asked her why she hadn't got the 16-month-old as he was 'just a baby', in which he said she replied 'I don't know'.
Tragically, Phillip found Corey face up in the water near to a jetty.
Phillip said in his statement that baby Corey knew how to open the door when it was unlocked, but the family were unaware he knew how to do it when it was locked.
Evidence was also read out by witnesses who were at the a caravan site.
One man said he had seen a baby wearing pyjamas walking in between the caravans at around 8.20am but assumed someone was watching him or was there.
Another witness said she saw a toddler near one of the caravans adjacent to the lake at around 8.30am.
She said she assumed that they were 'walking towards someone' or to one of the caravans and said it was 'only a couple of seconds' that she saw him.
The woman added that she then heard shouting and and saw a man, woman and three other children who were 'running in different directions' and appeared to be looking for someone.
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She then asked the man if he was looking for someone and he said 'yes the baby, the baby.' She replied that she had seen a baby and he told her 'he's just a baby.'
The woman said in her statement she later heard a man shout 'help me, help me' and saw a man carrying something on his shoulder.
She said it was then she knew 'something terrible had happened' as the baby did not appear to be moving and she called for an ambulance.
The woman said she was 'devastated' to find out later that day the baby had died.
The court heard how a maintenance manager of the site also carried out CPR before an ambulance crew arrived and took over.
Ambulance crews arrived and performed CPR as Corey was already said to be in cardiac arrest. He then went to Leighton Hospital in Crewe, where he was still in cardiac arrest arriving at 9.32am.
Despite doctors' best efforts the tot was pronounced dead at 10.14am.
Detective Inspector Stuart York of Cheshire Police said he found no evidence of third party involvement or suspicious circumstances.
Concluding the inquest, coroner Alan Moore recorded the medical cause of death was 'consistent with drowning'.
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