Base Plein Air Sainte-Foy: coroner's report on a dramatic drowning

Base Plein Air Sainte-Foy: coroner's report on a dramatic drowning


“A long cascade of events” led to the death by “accidental drowning” of a 10-year-old boy in June 2021 at the Base Plein Air Sainte-Foy, in particular that the guide of the group was unaware that the child, who was not wearing a life jacket, could not swim, today unveiled the coroner's report.

The fateful day of June 17, 2021, Daniel Allo was part of a group of 22 young people from École Filteau who went to the Base plein air Sainte-Foy to swim there.

Coroner Arnaud Samson recalls the course of the tragedy. Lost to sight by the guide and the supervisors, he remained under water between six and nine minutes according to the witnesses.

The surveillance staff immediately began resuscitation maneuvers and installed the cardiac defibrillator.

The paramedics were called at 12:21 p.m., the police took over the resuscitation at 12:40 p.m., two minutes before the arrival of paramedics. The latter noticed that the child did not have a heartbeat.

The paramedics left the base at 12:56 p.m., arrived at the CHUL at 12:56 p.m. where the maneuvers continued until 1:50 p.m. the death has been declared.

Child-accompanying ratio

In his analysis, Dr. Samson based himself on the Safe Supervision of Groups of Children guide, a document based on numerous recommendations from coroners.

He notes that this guide recommends a maximum ratio of 15 children per accompanying person. However, the Filteau school group was made up of 22 young people for a single guide.

“The issue is not there because there were four lifeguards in addition to the guide, so a ratio of one for four. But when we plan (an outing) we should do it in a different way. What is at stake is a long cascade of events,” coroner Samson told the Journal.


< p>The coroner writes that the youngster had arrived with his family from the Ivory Coast the previous year, where learning to swim is not a custom.

He also points out that the Full Base Air Sainte-Foy only imposes the life jacket (PFD) on young people under 8 years old.

“Daniel, like the others, chose not to wear a PFD. This is the first time that it has entered a body of water and has not been made aware of its use,” writes the coroner.

In all, Arnaud Samson issued 16 recommendations.< /p>

More details to come…

Child drownings*

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0-5 years 6-11 years old 12-17 years old 0-17 years old
< strong>Boys 120 79 50 249
Girls 62 18 9 89
TOTAL 182 97 59 338

*Data from the Bureau du coroner du Québec for the period 1991-2017. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among 0-12 year olds.

Recreational and sporting deaths*

  • Related to water: 41.5%
  • Bicycle: 22.1%
  • Snowmobile: 16.6%
  • MTB: 11.2%

*Data from the Bureau du coroner du Québec for the period 1995-2005 for all age groups