Teenager suffered horrific injury in pool grate fall

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AN HORRIFIC accident left a teenage lifesaving instructor with a gruesome hole in his leg at Horsham’s swimming pool.

George Bachelor, 17, needed a skin graft to repair a gaping gash on his shin after he fell through a faulty plastic grate by the pool in Pavilions in the Park in Hurst Road.

JPCT-13-10-11 S11420350a George Bachelor, 17, hurt his leg in accident at Pavilion swimming pool, horsham. patch on thigh shows area used to take skin graft for repair to shin wound. -photo by steve cobb

JPCT-13-10-11 S11420350a George Bachelor, 17, hurt his leg in accident at Pavilion swimming pool, horsham. patch on thigh shows area used to take skin graft for repair to shin wound. -photo by steve cobb

On the night of Thursday October 6, George was walking round the pool while teaching a lifesaving class when the grate gave way beneath him. He slipped through the small hole and managed to haul himself out. But when he looked down at his right leg, he felt faint.

“There was so much blood and I just wanted to lie down or be sick,” said George. “To be honest, I’ve never sworn so much in my life.

“But when people started calling for help, the staff thought it was just part of the lifesaving class, so it took a little time before they realised something was wrong.”

After George’s accident, swimmers were told they could go back into the pool, he says, before it was cleaned.

“I’m not really impressed with the swimming pool because they should have closed the pool and cleaned it out properly,” said George.

“People were allowed in to swim that same night. I thought it was disgusting really.”

He was taken to hospital, where doctors performed emergency reconstructive surgery, taking skin from the teenager’s thigh to repair the wound which was deep enough to expose the bone. And although George is now on the mend, he said his football and rugby days are over.

“I won’t be able to play running sports any more which is really annoying, especially as I’ve just taken up rugby. But as long as I can still swim, I’m happy.”

Tom Crowley, chief executive of Horsham District Council, said: “We were very sorry to hear of this incident and of the injury sustained by George Bachelor.

“I can confirm that a comprehensive health and safety investigation into what happened is underway. As soon as the incident happened the surrounding area was cordoned off to other pool users and continues to remain so.

“I would also like to confirm that the incident took place in the poolside walk area and that the swimming pool water was not contaminated.”