Portable pool safety reminder after toddler's death

 Photo: Getty Images

The drowning of a Hobart toddler has prompted a coroner to remind the community that even inflatable and portable pools must be fenced.

Kobie Ryder Blackaby was 18 months old in February 2014 when he died after being found floating in less than 500mm of water in his family's backyard blue plastic pool.

"If there had been fencing in compliance with requirements, then his death may have been prevented," coroner Olivia McTaggart said in her findings published on Wednesday.

Kobie's mother became worried when she couldn't hear him, and when he was missing from the bedroom where last seen a frantic search began.

His father spotted him floating in the pool.

He wasn't breathing and despite CPR was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

In statements to police Kobie's parents said it was difficult to keep the door of their house closed, with older children playing.

"It is likely that Kobie, having made his way to the pool, leaned against the side of the pool which then collapsed, causing him to fall in," Ms McTaggart said.

"Once inside the pool, the inflatable rings would have returned to their normal position, preventing his escape."


Investigators found a printed warning on the side of the pool noting the need for fencing and adult supervision.

"Any pool which is deeper than 300mm requires fencing," the coroner said.

She recommended that the state government monitor any increase in the number of portable and inflatable pool sales with the view to implementing water-safety strategies.

In addition, there should be an increased public awareness campaign about the legal requirement to fence pools, Ms McTaggart said.