Man dies after medical emergency at UK’s largest outdoor water park
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A man has died after suffering a ‘medical episode’ at the UK’s largest outdoor water park, prompting the sudden closure of the park for the day.
Emergency services were called to Splashdown Quaywest in Paignton, Devon, yesterday (23 August) following a medical incident involving a customer – who Devon and Cornwall Police said was a man in his 40s from the Bristol area.
Sadly, despite attempts to save him, the man later died.
A police spokesman said: “Police were contacted by the Ambulance Service just after midday on Wednesday, August 23.
“They were at Splashdown Waterpark in Goodrington, Paignton, responding to reports of a man having suffered a suspected medical episode on site.
“Despite the best efforts of those at the scene the man, in his 40s and from the Bristol area, later died.
“His next of kin have been informed and a file is to be prepared for the coroner.”
A spokesperson for the South Western Ambulance Service said two double-crewed land ambulances, an air ambulance and an operations officer were sent to the scene, adding that one patient had been taken to Torbay Hospital.
While the man had been ‘receiving medical attention from paramedics’, Splashdown told customers it had made the decision to close the park, saying the incident happened at approximately 12.15pm.
“Until we have any information to release having conducted and consulted with any of the necessary authorities we would appreciate being left to deal with an unfolding situation and respect the privacy of the individual concerned and their family,” the waterpark said.
“We recognise this incident may have caused some upset amongst our visitors and apologise for any distress this may have caused, however, in an emergency the safety and well being of the person concerned was paramount due to the seriousness of the situation that presented itself.
“We are otherwise not able to make further comment at this time.”
In an update issued on its website later that day, Splashdown confirmed that the man had died.
“Sadly, we understand from Devon and Cornwall Police that the person concerned has subsequently passed away, our thoughts are with the family of the person concerned and send our deepest condolences to them,” it said.
“This incident occurred at Splashdown Quaywest waterpark at approximately 12 today. A person suffered a medical issue. An ambulance was called immediately and Splashdown waterpark staff and three off duty nurses came to the aid of the person.
“Subsequently, the air ambulance was also called. Despite the extensive efforts of those involved we have since learned that the person concerned has died.”
Alan Richmond, Managing Director, said in a statement: “I was present at the site today when the incident occurred. We are so sorry to hear that the person passed away and our thoughts are with the friends and family of the deceased.
“I would like to thank and commend our staff for their prompt actions to administer first aid to our customer, together with the off-duty nurses that came forward to help and the actions of the ambulance staff that attended.
“It has been a shocking and upsetting day for everyone involved. We are consulting with our staff to make sure that they are ok.
“I would also like to take the opportunity to reassure our visitors that this was a medical episode not involving the waterpark operation.
"We recognise that this incident may have caused some upset amongst our visitors and apologise for any distress that this may have caused, however, our priority was the person concerned due to the seriousness of the situation that presented itself.
“We are able to be open tomorrow following consultation with the appropriate authorities who are satisfied that no further investigation is necessary on our part, but we understand that a file will be prepared for the Coroner.”
The park will be open today after consulting with ‘the relevant authorities’, which said they are ‘satisfied that the incident was a medical episode unrelated to the waterparks operation which occurred out of the water’.
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