Brentwood: Schoolboy died in tragic accient after holding breath underwater

�A schoolboy died in a tragic accident as he attempted to break his own record for how long he could stay under water.

Reiss Morgan, 15, passed out and drowned as he tried to hold his breath in the swimming pool at Clearview Health and Racquet Club in Brentwood in July 2009.

Staff fought desperately to resuscitate him but Reiss was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

His parents, from South Ockendon, have had to wait nearly three years to discover why he died on July 30, 2009.

His family has since raised more than �10,000 for a local hospice in honour of their only son – who had celebrated his birthday just a fortnight before the tragedy.


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An inquest was held in Chelmsford, Essex, on Thursday of last week, and found there were no suspicious circumstances or third party involvement in Reiss’s death.

Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray apologised to Reiss’s parents for the delay in hearing their son’s case – blaming an investigation into his death by Brentwood Council.

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She confirmed the swimming pool will not face charges in relation to what she described as a “tragic accident”.

Brentwood Borough Councillor Tony Sleep, chairman of the environment panel, said: “The time taken was due to the necessity of obtaining all available evidence as well as giving the company concerned the fullest of opportunities to comment and assist in the investigation.

“Health and safety investigations of this length are not unknown and it is important that they are thorough and balanced in their approach.

“The council has spoken to the bereaved parents and expressed its deepest sympathies and apologised for any distress caused by the time taken to complete this case.”

Coroner’s officer Simon Oakley told the inquest that sporty Reiss’s competitive streak could have been a key factor in his untimely death.

He said: “It was known Reiss had an interest in seeing how long he could hold his breath under water.”

Mrs Beasley-Murray told his family: “This was the most tragic of accidents.

“Clearly he was a much loved little boy. I hope you will be able to look back at positive memories.”

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