Saturday 17 March 2018

'I held his hand... asking him to come back' - Father recalls last moments of tragic son (4) who drowned

The funeral of Logan Joyce (Inset: Logan Joyce (4))
The funeral of Logan Joyce (Inset: Logan Joyce (4))
Flowers and a note at the scene
The National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.

Louise Roseingrave

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 22, 2012.

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

An inquest at Dublin Coroner’s Court heard how Logan went to the centre with his father, brother Brandon and sister Crystal, aged six and seven.

Logan Joyce (4), who tragically drowned at the National Aquatic Centre
Logan Joyce (4), who tragically drowned at the National Aquatic Centre

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.

Des Sheridan was at the pool with his two children. He said Logan approached his daughter.

“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.

Mr Sheridan later saw Logan floating face down in the Lazy River. He jumped in, and alerted the lifeguards. 

CCTV footage monitoring the Lazy River was not operational on the day, according to investigating officer Sgt Joseph Delaney. 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,” Sgt Delaney said.

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. The Lazy River attraction is supervised by lifeguards from three different vantage points, the inquest heard.

Logan was pronounced dead at 8.06pm that day by Dr Derek Hayden. The inquest was adjourned until November 27 due to time restraints.

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