Procedures to be reviewed following pond tragedy in Gosport

Daily Echo: Tony Jones Tony Jones

EMERGENCY services are working together to review their procedures after a man was left floating in a pond for more than half an hour.

The family of Simon Burgess, 41, who drowned in a Gosport boating lake, have criticised emergency crews for failing to attempt to rescue him for almost 40 minutes.

Mr Burgess is understood to have suffered an epileptic fit as he retrieved a bag from the 3ft deep Walpole Lake.

The lack of action by emergency services has made national headlines. There are now moves to ensure similar incidents are never repeated.

Believing he was already dead firefighters called to the scene did not immediately attend to Mr Burgess and instead waited for a specialist team to retrieve him 37 minutes later.

Earlier this week an inquest heard that a paramedic and PC Tony Jones volunteered to go into the water but fire station watch manager Tony Nicholls took the decision that Mr Burgess was already dead so the incident was a body recovery rather than a rescue.

Recording a verdict of accidental death the coroner called on emergency services to examine their protocols to “give the best possible guidance”

for situations where a life may hang in the balance.

The county’s fire, police and ambulance service have now pledged to review their procedures together.

Chair of Hampshire Fire Authority, Royston Smith, said it was important their protocols were the same – but denied the firefighters had been hindered by health and safety rules, saying: “The policies of all the emergency services need to align so that everyone is doing the same thing.

“The media have taken the line that they did not go in to help a drowning man – but they arrived 15 minutes after he fell in, there were no signs of life and he was face down.

They decided to wait for professionals to do a dignified removal.”

Hampshire Constabulary and South Central Ambulance confirmed that their policy when working near water is that the rescue is the task of other emergency services.

Police have already carried out an internal reviewand plans to act on the issues raised by the coroner. A spokesperson for the ambulance service said it would review the processes and ways staff work together with Hampshire Fire and Rescue.

Comments (15)

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11:32am Fri 24 Feb 12

Shoong says...

I was under the impression they were all 'heroes'.
I was under the impression they were all 'heroes'. Shoong
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Fri 24 Feb 12

bigfella777 says...

The firemen involved should be sacked, they dont deserve to wear the uniform.
The firemen involved should be sacked, they dont deserve to wear the uniform. bigfella777
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Fri 24 Feb 12

Goldenwight says...

bigfella777 wrote:
The firemen involved should be sacked, they dont deserve to wear the uniform.
Would you expect them, then, to dash into a blazing inferno to pull out the body of someone who was already considered dead?

And would you personally risk your own life to rescue them after they had foolishly done so?

I'm reminded of an incident some years ago where a dog had gone into a turbulent sea and got into trouble. The owner followed it, and died. Several other would be heroes tried to rescue them and died.

I'm not saying the Fire Service were right on this occassion, but it is worth pointing out once more that they were following established guidelines on dealing with a 'hazardous' situation.
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: The firemen involved should be sacked, they dont deserve to wear the uniform.[/p][/quote]Would you expect them, then, to dash into a blazing inferno to pull out the body of someone who was already considered dead? And would you personally risk your own life to rescue them after they had foolishly done so? I'm reminded of an incident some years ago where a dog had gone into a turbulent sea and got into trouble. The owner followed it, and died. Several other would be heroes tried to rescue them and died. I'm not saying the Fire Service were right on this occassion, but it is worth pointing out once more that they were following established guidelines on dealing with a 'hazardous' situation. Goldenwight
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Fri 24 Feb 12

bigfella777 says...

Goldenwight wrote:
bigfella777 wrote:
The firemen involved should be sacked, they dont deserve to wear the uniform.
Would you expect them, then, to dash into a blazing inferno to pull out the body of someone who was already considered dead?

And would you personally risk your own life to rescue them after they had foolishly done so?

I'm reminded of an incident some years ago where a dog had gone into a turbulent sea and got into trouble. The owner followed it, and died. Several other would be heroes tried to rescue them and died.

I'm not saying the Fire Service were right on this occassion, but it is worth pointing out once more that they were following established guidelines on dealing with a 'hazardous' situation.
Were talking about a couple of inches of water not 9/11.
[quote][p][bold]Goldenwight[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: The firemen involved should be sacked, they dont deserve to wear the uniform.[/p][/quote]Would you expect them, then, to dash into a blazing inferno to pull out the body of someone who was already considered dead? And would you personally risk your own life to rescue them after they had foolishly done so? I'm reminded of an incident some years ago where a dog had gone into a turbulent sea and got into trouble. The owner followed it, and died. Several other would be heroes tried to rescue them and died. I'm not saying the Fire Service were right on this occassion, but it is worth pointing out once more that they were following established guidelines on dealing with a 'hazardous' situation.[/p][/quote]Were talking about a couple of inches of water not 9/11. bigfella777
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Fri 24 Feb 12

chrisdemeanour says...

Since when do firemen give orders to police, or anyone else for that matter. I think the actions of the fire service were shameful and disgusting.
Since when do firemen give orders to police, or anyone else for that matter. I think the actions of the fire service were shameful and disgusting. chrisdemeanour
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Fri 24 Feb 12

BerryMan says...

If this was such an easy rescue for the firefighters, why didnt the disgusted onlookers get their feet wet and get him out in a timescale where there might have actually been hope for him. Unfortunately, on their arrival, 15 or so minutes later, there would have been no hope for some one who had been face down in the water for that long. People should take a long look at what our emergency services do for us. They made a decision on a situation as im sure they do at every incident they attend. They still run into fires to rescue complete strangers if there is a life inside to save. They stand in the fast lane of a motorway cutting people out of their cars as idiots still race past rubbernecking, as do all of our valuable services. Why should they risk making their children father/mother less for a life which is clearly unsaveable? Next time you have a fire maybe you should just sort yourself out. I bet you will still call them though as you know full well they will run in and help when others wont.
If this was such an easy rescue for the firefighters, why didnt the disgusted onlookers get their feet wet and get him out in a timescale where there might have actually been hope for him. Unfortunately, on their arrival, 15 or so minutes later, there would have been no hope for some one who had been face down in the water for that long. People should take a long look at what our emergency services do for us. They made a decision on a situation as im sure they do at every incident they attend. They still run into fires to rescue complete strangers if there is a life inside to save. They stand in the fast lane of a motorway cutting people out of their cars as idiots still race past rubbernecking, as do all of our valuable services. Why should they risk making their children father/mother less for a life which is clearly unsaveable? Next time you have a fire maybe you should just sort yourself out. I bet you will still call them though as you know full well they will run in and help when others wont. BerryMan
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Fri 24 Feb 12

Shoong says...

BerryMan wrote:
If this was such an easy rescue for the firefighters, why didnt the disgusted onlookers get their feet wet and get him out in a timescale where there might have actually been hope for him. Unfortunately, on their arrival, 15 or so minutes later, there would have been no hope for some one who had been face down in the water for that long. People should take a long look at what our emergency services do for us. They made a decision on a situation as im sure they do at every incident they attend. They still run into fires to rescue complete strangers if there is a life inside to save. They stand in the fast lane of a motorway cutting people out of their cars as idiots still race past rubbernecking, as do all of our valuable services. Why should they risk making their children father/mother less for a life which is clearly unsaveable? Next time you have a fire maybe you should just sort yourself out. I bet you will still call them though as you know full well they will run in and help when others wont.
Let's hope there isn't anything that contravenes Elf & Safety then or your house is burning to the ground as they drink a well deserved cuppa.
[quote][p][bold]BerryMan[/bold] wrote: If this was such an easy rescue for the firefighters, why didnt the disgusted onlookers get their feet wet and get him out in a timescale where there might have actually been hope for him. Unfortunately, on their arrival, 15 or so minutes later, there would have been no hope for some one who had been face down in the water for that long. People should take a long look at what our emergency services do for us. They made a decision on a situation as im sure they do at every incident they attend. They still run into fires to rescue complete strangers if there is a life inside to save. They stand in the fast lane of a motorway cutting people out of their cars as idiots still race past rubbernecking, as do all of our valuable services. Why should they risk making their children father/mother less for a life which is clearly unsaveable? Next time you have a fire maybe you should just sort yourself out. I bet you will still call them though as you know full well they will run in and help when others wont.[/p][/quote]Let's hope there isn't anything that contravenes Elf & Safety then or your house is burning to the ground as they drink a well deserved cuppa. Shoong
  • Score: 0

4:17pm Fri 24 Feb 12

BerryMan says...

Shoong wrote:
BerryMan wrote: If this was such an easy rescue for the firefighters, why didnt the disgusted onlookers get their feet wet and get him out in a timescale where there might have actually been hope for him. Unfortunately, on their arrival, 15 or so minutes later, there would have been no hope for some one who had been face down in the water for that long. People should take a long look at what our emergency services do for us. They made a decision on a situation as im sure they do at every incident they attend. They still run into fires to rescue complete strangers if there is a life inside to save. They stand in the fast lane of a motorway cutting people out of their cars as idiots still race past rubbernecking, as do all of our valuable services. Why should they risk making their children father/mother less for a life which is clearly unsaveable? Next time you have a fire maybe you should just sort yourself out. I bet you will still call them though as you know full well they will run in and help when others wont.
Let's hope there isn't anything that contravenes Elf & Safety then or your house is burning to the ground as they drink a well deserved cuppa.
So one incident comes to press and everyone slates the firemen! I dont see too many stories about people dying in house fires because firemen stood outside. Quite a few stories of rescues though, funny that! Did you comment on those? Shame alot of people are so negative in their lives that they can only comment on the one single story where they assessed it and decided not to save a dead body! Im sure no people are more fraustrated about h&s than our services. I just hope that the firefighters take no notice of the negative morons and continue to do a great job. Then they wont have to battle you as well as h&s. If you think you can do better, get off your butt and do it. Thought not!
[quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BerryMan[/bold] wrote: If this was such an easy rescue for the firefighters, why didnt the disgusted onlookers get their feet wet and get him out in a timescale where there might have actually been hope for him. Unfortunately, on their arrival, 15 or so minutes later, there would have been no hope for some one who had been face down in the water for that long. People should take a long look at what our emergency services do for us. They made a decision on a situation as im sure they do at every incident they attend. They still run into fires to rescue complete strangers if there is a life inside to save. They stand in the fast lane of a motorway cutting people out of their cars as idiots still race past rubbernecking, as do all of our valuable services. Why should they risk making their children father/mother less for a life which is clearly unsaveable? Next time you have a fire maybe you should just sort yourself out. I bet you will still call them though as you know full well they will run in and help when others wont.[/p][/quote]Let's hope there isn't anything that contravenes Elf & Safety then or your house is burning to the ground as they drink a well deserved cuppa.[/p][/quote]So one incident comes to press and everyone slates the firemen! I dont see too many stories about people dying in house fires because firemen stood outside. Quite a few stories of rescues though, funny that! Did you comment on those? Shame alot of people are so negative in their lives that they can only comment on the one single story where they assessed it and decided not to save a dead body! Im sure no people are more fraustrated about h&s than our services. I just hope that the firefighters take no notice of the negative morons and continue to do a great job. Then they wont have to battle you as well as h&s. If you think you can do better, get off your butt and do it. Thought not! BerryMan
  • Score: 0

4:18pm Fri 24 Feb 12

mallygp says...

People do respect the emergency services and are not discussing on here about every incident they attend. This is about a poor fellow...I'll not go on as the story is above....please read it. It's not about burning houses or motorway accidents.

And as a result policies have changed...which means on this occasion....yes there was a c#ck up.

Come on Health & Safety guys & girls, put more effort into tackling Terrorists and bog them down with your tosh.

Let them know only flour bombs are acceptable.

Sorry not white flour as it contains potassium bromate, which is found to be carcinogenic !.......lol
People do respect the emergency services and are not discussing on here about every incident they attend. This is about a poor fellow...I'll not go on as the story is above....please read it. It's not about burning houses or motorway accidents. And as a result policies have changed...which means on this occasion....yes there was a c#ck up. Come on Health & Safety guys & girls, put more effort into tackling Terrorists and bog them down with your tosh. Let them know only flour bombs are acceptable. Sorry not white flour as it contains potassium bromate, which is found to be carcinogenic !.......lol mallygp
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Fri 24 Feb 12

SotonLad says...

15 mins for the emergency services to arrive - that's 15 mind that someone stood and watched - why didn't they get him out of the water? That's disgusting and seems to have been overlooked!!
15 mins for the emergency services to arrive - that's 15 mind that someone stood and watched - why didn't they get him out of the water? That's disgusting and seems to have been overlooked!! SotonLad
  • Score: 0

4:47pm Fri 24 Feb 12

mallygp says...

SotonLad wrote:
15 mins for the emergency services to arrive - that's 15 mind that someone stood and watched - why didn't they get him out of the water? That's disgusting and seems to have been overlooked!!
Yes it is all strange. Yesterday or the day before it mentioned the services arrived within 5 minutes...who knows. I'm sure if I or anyone here had been there we would all have jumped in to rescue.

The bit i'm confused about though is "there were no signs of life and he was face down."

Why was his pulse checked? How far out was he?

Still atleast it has called for a review.
[quote][p][bold]SotonLad[/bold] wrote: 15 mins for the emergency services to arrive - that's 15 mind that someone stood and watched - why didn't they get him out of the water? That's disgusting and seems to have been overlooked!![/p][/quote]Yes it is all strange. Yesterday or the day before it mentioned the services arrived within 5 minutes...who knows. I'm sure if I or anyone here had been there we would all have jumped in to rescue. The bit i'm confused about though is "there were no signs of life and he was face down." Why was his pulse checked? How far out was he? Still atleast it has called for a review. mallygp
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Fri 24 Feb 12

not-me says...

mallygp wrote:
SotonLad wrote:
15 mins for the emergency services to arrive - that's 15 mind that someone stood and watched - why didn't they get him out of the water? That's disgusting and seems to have been overlooked!!
Yes it is all strange. Yesterday or the day before it mentioned the services arrived within 5 minutes...who knows. I'm sure if I or anyone here had been there we would all have jumped in to rescue.

The bit i'm confused about though is "there were no signs of life and he was face down."

Why was his pulse checked? How far out was he?

Still atleast it has called for a review.
I believe it was 5 mins from the call, but it was believed he'd been in the water around 10 mins prior to the call.

From a report the other day (not sure if this site or another), the body of the man had to be pointed out to the emergency services as he was not easily visible. I believe he was pretty much in the middle of the lake, which is at least 100 metres across, if not more.
[quote][p][bold]mallygp[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SotonLad[/bold] wrote: 15 mins for the emergency services to arrive - that's 15 mind that someone stood and watched - why didn't they get him out of the water? That's disgusting and seems to have been overlooked!![/p][/quote]Yes it is all strange. Yesterday or the day before it mentioned the services arrived within 5 minutes...who knows. I'm sure if I or anyone here had been there we would all have jumped in to rescue. The bit i'm confused about though is "there were no signs of life and he was face down." Why was his pulse checked? How far out was he? Still atleast it has called for a review.[/p][/quote]I believe it was 5 mins from the call, but it was believed he'd been in the water around 10 mins prior to the call. From a report the other day (not sure if this site or another), the body of the man had to be pointed out to the emergency services as he was not easily visible. I believe he was pretty much in the middle of the lake, which is at least 100 metres across, if not more. not-me
  • Score: 0

7:55pm Fri 24 Feb 12

scoobysnacks says...

The ambulance service have a specialist team that are trained in water rescue now.
The ambulance service have a specialist team that are trained in water rescue now. scoobysnacks
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Fri 24 Feb 12

andysaints007 says...

BerryMan wrote:
If this was such an easy rescue for the firefighters, why didnt the disgusted onlookers get their feet wet and get him out in a timescale where there might have actually been hope for him. Unfortunately, on their arrival, 15 or so minutes later, there would have been no hope for some one who had been face down in the water for that long. People should take a long look at what our emergency services do for us. They made a decision on a situation as im sure they do at every incident they attend. They still run into fires to rescue complete strangers if there is a life inside to save. They stand in the fast lane of a motorway cutting people out of their cars as idiots still race past rubbernecking, as do all of our valuable services. Why should they risk making their children father/mother less for a life which is clearly unsaveable? Next time you have a fire maybe you should just sort yourself out. I bet you will still call them though as you know full well they will run in and help when others wont.
Um thats what they are PAID for isn't it????
[quote][p][bold]BerryMan[/bold] wrote: If this was such an easy rescue for the firefighters, why didnt the disgusted onlookers get their feet wet and get him out in a timescale where there might have actually been hope for him. Unfortunately, on their arrival, 15 or so minutes later, there would have been no hope for some one who had been face down in the water for that long. People should take a long look at what our emergency services do for us. They made a decision on a situation as im sure they do at every incident they attend. They still run into fires to rescue complete strangers if there is a life inside to save. They stand in the fast lane of a motorway cutting people out of their cars as idiots still race past rubbernecking, as do all of our valuable services. Why should they risk making their children father/mother less for a life which is clearly unsaveable? Next time you have a fire maybe you should just sort yourself out. I bet you will still call them though as you know full well they will run in and help when others wont.[/p][/quote]Um thats what they are PAID for isn't it???? andysaints007
  • Score: 0

9:33am Mon 27 Feb 12

Shoong says...

BerryMan wrote:
Shoong wrote:
BerryMan wrote: If this was such an easy rescue for the firefighters, why didnt the disgusted onlookers get their feet wet and get him out in a timescale where there might have actually been hope for him. Unfortunately, on their arrival, 15 or so minutes later, there would have been no hope for some one who had been face down in the water for that long. People should take a long look at what our emergency services do for us. They made a decision on a situation as im sure they do at every incident they attend. They still run into fires to rescue complete strangers if there is a life inside to save. They stand in the fast lane of a motorway cutting people out of their cars as idiots still race past rubbernecking, as do all of our valuable services. Why should they risk making their children father/mother less for a life which is clearly unsaveable? Next time you have a fire maybe you should just sort yourself out. I bet you will still call them though as you know full well they will run in and help when others wont.
Let's hope there isn't anything that contravenes Elf & Safety then or your house is burning to the ground as they drink a well deserved cuppa.
So one incident comes to press and everyone slates the firemen! I dont see too many stories about people dying in house fires because firemen stood outside. Quite a few stories of rescues though, funny that! Did you comment on those? Shame alot of people are so negative in their lives that they can only comment on the one single story where they assessed it and decided not to save a dead body! Im sure no people are more fraustrated about h&s than our services. I just hope that the firefighters take no notice of the negative morons and continue to do a great job. Then they wont have to battle you as well as h&s. If you think you can do better, get off your butt and do it. Thought not!
F***** sure I wouldn't just sit there & do nothing, they could fire me if they liked!
[quote][p][bold]BerryMan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BerryMan[/bold] wrote: If this was such an easy rescue for the firefighters, why didnt the disgusted onlookers get their feet wet and get him out in a timescale where there might have actually been hope for him. Unfortunately, on their arrival, 15 or so minutes later, there would have been no hope for some one who had been face down in the water for that long. People should take a long look at what our emergency services do for us. They made a decision on a situation as im sure they do at every incident they attend. They still run into fires to rescue complete strangers if there is a life inside to save. They stand in the fast lane of a motorway cutting people out of their cars as idiots still race past rubbernecking, as do all of our valuable services. Why should they risk making their children father/mother less for a life which is clearly unsaveable? Next time you have a fire maybe you should just sort yourself out. I bet you will still call them though as you know full well they will run in and help when others wont.[/p][/quote]Let's hope there isn't anything that contravenes Elf & Safety then or your house is burning to the ground as they drink a well deserved cuppa.[/p][/quote]So one incident comes to press and everyone slates the firemen! I dont see too many stories about people dying in house fires because firemen stood outside. Quite a few stories of rescues though, funny that! Did you comment on those? Shame alot of people are so negative in their lives that they can only comment on the one single story where they assessed it and decided not to save a dead body! Im sure no people are more fraustrated about h&s than our services. I just hope that the firefighters take no notice of the negative morons and continue to do a great job. Then they wont have to battle you as well as h&s. If you think you can do better, get off your butt and do it. Thought not![/p][/quote]F***** sure I wouldn't just sit there & do nothing, they could fire me if they liked! Shoong
  • Score: 0

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