Boy who drowned at National Aquatic Centre could not swim

Dublin Coroner’s Court hears four-year-old not wearing any flotation aids on fatal day

A four-year-old boy who drowned at the National Aquatic Centre was not wearing armbands and could not swim, an inquest heard.

Logan Joyce of Wotton Bridge, Ashbourne Road, Co Dublin was found floating in the Lazy River section of the Aquazone at 6.30pm on Sunday, July 22nd, 2012.

"I held his hand and called his name, asking him to come back," his father Michael Joyce said in his statement.

A resumed inquest into the child’s death at Dublin Coroner’s Court heard how Logan went to the National Aquatic Centre with his father, and brother and sister who were then aged six and seven respectively.


Mr Joyce wept in the witness box as details of his youngest son’s death were read out.

“The three kids were very excited. The four of us went into the Aquazone and the two older ones went ahead. Logan saw a blue slide and asked can we go down together. We had to go down one at a time. Logan was up and down a few times,” he said.

Mr Joyce said he left his children playing on the slides and went to use a surf board 25ft away. He then went around the Lazy River attraction – a 120m long feature with a depth of 1.2m and a current running at two miles per hour – with his daughter.

“The water was chest height and there was a current. I didn’t like it. I told her not to go back in,” he said.

Des Sheridan was at the pool with his two children. He said Logan approached his daughter and asked about her armbands.

“He said his brother had his armbands and that he was learning to swim. I said you are not to get into the water on your own. He said he wouldn’t,” Mr Sheridan said.

Lazy River

Mr Sheridan was standing near the slides when he saw Logan floating face down in the Lazy River. He jumped in, alerted the lifeguards and handed the boy to a lifeguard.

CCTV footage monitoring the Lazy River was not operational on the day, investigating officer Sgt Joseph Delaney said. Logan was last seen alive in the wave pool area. “From the available facts it would appear he made his way all the way around the Lazy River,” said Sgt Delaney.

Lifeguard duty officer Russell Ehbel, who has since left the National Aquatic Centre, said children under eight require direct adult supervision and flotation aids can be bought at reception. He said 10 lifeguards were covering 11 positions at the leisure pool but two other lifeguards giving evidence said all positions were manned.

Lifeguard Emma Devitt returned from her break at 6pm and noticed Logan coming up the wrong way to queue for an attraction called the Flow Rider. She told him where to queue but did not see him again after that.

The Lazy River attraction is supervised by lifeguards from three different vantage points, said Miss Devitt. Staff had difficulty attaching defibrillator pads because Logan's skin was wet and resuscitation attempts failed. The boy was rushed to Connolly Hospital where efforts to save his life continued.

Logan was pronounced dead as a result of cardiac arrest due to drowning at 8.06pm by Dr Derek Hayden. The inquest was adjourned until November 27th due to time restraints.