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Swimming Pool Scene COMMERCIAL MARKET REVIEW


Ticking Time Bombs


MSI continues its campaign to raise awareness of the risks of swimming pool entrapment…


ABOVE: Children are most susceptible to swimming pool entrapment.


The alarming increase in the number of media reports on entrapment accidents, highlights the fear that many pools and spas remain unsafe ticking time bombs for unsuspecting swimmers. The danger is escalated when you realise how poorly management and lifeguards at many holiday resorts and hotels are trained to avoid entrapment risks.


There are hundreds of thousands of pools installed at hotels and holiday resorts across continental Europe that may not conform to


the correct safety standards, often because they are very old pools and do not have the prerequisite two main drains at the bottom of the pool. Pools with a single drain, poorly-fi tted or with faulty parts pose grave dangers, as does the lack of understanding of the risk to life if a swimmer gets trapped in a drain.


REGULAR TESTING Pool operators must exercise full responsibility and enforce rigorous


safety measures to guard against accidents including entrapment. This includes regular testing of the pool structure and the water chemistry through to the provision of experienced lifeguards who are trained to deal with all types of incidents promptly. Given the very real and present danger of entrapment, it should be high on the agenda of every hotel, holiday villa and water park, and a priority for tour operators who sell holidays to clients where a pool and spa is part of the offering. Yet, there appears to be limited knowledge about the subject within the leisure industry. Put simply, entrapment is when part of the body becomes trapped in the powerful suction of a pool’s only drain. This is not a risk that a swimmer can see and thus cannot take care to avoid.


ENTRAPMENT CAUSES ABOVE: Children are most susceptible to swimming pool entrapment.


Whilst entrapment can occur because of a damaged outlet in a pool or spa, the root cause is the lack of two drains – a known and solvable problem. A single drain can create intense pump suction as the water system is regulated. Getting too close to a single main drain leaves bathers at risk of being dragged into this vacuum which is almost impossible to break free of without the pool system


42 Swimming Pool Scene COMMERCIAL MARKET REVIEW


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