TRAGIC DEATH: The NSW Coroner found the death of Jake Rhodes, 21 months, was due to misadventure when he was involved in a near-drowning incident in a backyard swimming pool at Pimlico, on the Far North Coast, on 16 January 2015.
TRAGIC DEATH: The NSW Coroner found the death of Jake Rhodes, 21 months, was due to misadventure when he was involved in a near-drowning incident in a backyard swimming pool at Pimlico, on the Far North Coast, on 16 January 2015. Supplied

Toddler drowning ruled misadventure: Inquest

A SPIRITED little boy who loved adventures and was adored by family should still be running headlong through life.

Instead the life of the 21-month-old Jake Rhodes was found by Deputy State Coroner Magistrate Derek Lee, to have been taken due to misadventure when he was involved in a near-drowning incident in a backyard swimming pool at Pimlico on the North Coast on January 16, 2015.

The pool was owned by Danielle Forsythe, a friend of the Rhodes family.

On Tuesday in NSW State Coroner's Court, Glebe, Mr Lee found the youngster has most likely gained entry into the swimming pool in Pimlico near Ballina, through a gap in the panel of a temporary fence.

Mr Rhodes had been building a permanent fence around the pool when Jake managed to enter the water. Jake was found floating in the pool and unresponsive.

Mr Lee found Jake who died on January 17, 2015 at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Queensland.

His recommendations included that the NSW Government should change the law "to provide for warning notices to be erected and maintained," during pool construction which state the pool is not to be used until issued a final occupation certificate.

Mr Lee also recommended Ballina Shire Council consider sending correspondence relating to the certificate directly to home-owners.

He also recommended the pool builder, Bragg Enterprises Pty Ltd, should consider providing "explicit written instructions".

Mr Lee, on behalf of the Coroner's Court, and the counsel assisting team, offered respectful condolences to the family.


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