Drowning prompts new Cowichan pool fence rules

Spurred by the tragic drowning of a three-year-old boy in 2013 at a Cowichan Bay home, pools in electoral areas in the Cowichan Valley Regional District will now have to be fenced.

Jordan Antonio Slottke died in July of 2013 after drowning in a backyard pool that was not fenced.

According to witnesses, he was out of sight for only seven minutes. He was found by a relative, face down in the deep end of the pool.

After this incident, Area D adopted a bylaw requiring swimming pools to be fenced.

The BC Coroner’s report recommended that the Cowichan Valley’s eight other electoral areas should adopt similar legislation.

Swimming pools will now have to be in an enclosed structure or surrounded by a fence of at least 1.5 metres high and not more than 1.8 metres high.

It must be designed to prevent climbing and gates must be operated by hinges and a lock that can only be opened easily from the inside.

Staff will now prepare the amendments to electoral area bylaws that govern types of fencing and height restrictions.