Miracle's drowning in quarry was '˜misadventure'
The 13-year-old’s dad, Godson Anumba, told the hearing at Preston Coroner’s court, that he had only been at shallow end at a swimming pool once.
The teen died after jumping into East Quarry in Appley Bridge, while with friends on April 10 last year.
Mr Anumba said: “Miracle had not learnt to swim. He had never experienced jumping into water.”
The inquest heard that some of Miracle’s friends had crawled through a gap in the fence on the northern side of the quarry.
As a few of the group jumped from a ledge which was more than 6ft high, into the water, he followed suit, despite being warned it was cold.
Det Insp Mark Nasser of Lancashire Police said: “Miracle did a rigid pencil jump. Within a few seconds he came up to the surface but couldn’t cope.” He added that as a confident, athletic boy, he was “assured and thought nothing adverse would happen.”
He later inspected the site and said there were significant measures in place to prevent people getting into the site in Delph Lane and that some of the perimeter fencing backed onto other land, owned by other businesses and so itself would be difficult to access.
Sgt Craig Appleton explained that trespassing was a civil matter and police had no power to stop people from entering the quarry. He added: “I can’t think of anything else that can be done.”
Wendy Scott, co-director of Mainsprint Ltd which owns the site, said that over the last 20 years there has been a problem with trespassers, which has escalated more recently with people posting meet ups on social media.
She said: “We have been threatened with violence by some of the older trespassers, stones thrown at us and spat at when we warn people off. If people are determined to go to these lengths to get in, such as taking pieces out the fence, prising barriers apart with car jacks and even digging underneath the fence to get in, what else can we do?”
David Welch was contracted to check the fencing perimeters once a month and during the summer months he visited several times a week. All breaks were reported and repaired immediately. He said: “I walk around, inspecting the fencing, checking every nut and bolt.. Mr and Mrs Scott also check it on a regular basis.”
Recording a verdict of misadventure, coroner Sian Jones said: “I cannot criticise the fencing or maintenance regime.”