Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Coroner recommends signs in hot pools

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Bay of Plenty coroner Dr Wallace Bain.  Photo/File
Bay of Plenty coroner Dr Wallace Bain. Photo/File

The inquest into the death of an Indian visitor in a Rotorua motel hot pool has found there was no clear cause of death.

However, the coroner has recommended people do not bathe alone in thermal pools and has asked the Rotorua Lakes Council to consider making it compulsory to have signage to that effect at pools.

Dr Kesho Dutt Sharma, 75, was found dead in a hot pool at the Rob Roy Motel on Fenton St about 3pm on December 7, 2013. An inquest into his death was held in October last year with Coroner Wallace Bain releasing his findings yesterday.

Dr Sharma was visiting Rotorua from Melbourne. He was staying with his friend and former colleague, Rob Roy owner Prem Sharma, who also found him in the pool and tried to resuscitate him.

Mr Bain said in his formal findings that Dr Sharma "died ... in circumstances consistent with drowning but against a background of significant exposure to hydrogen sulphide which may have been a contributing factor to the death".

"The court notes, however, that there is the possibility that there was a fainting from the heat of the water and/or arrhythmia from the enlarged heart. The court cannot be satisfied to the legal standard required that there is a clear cause of death," he said.

During last year's inquest Mr Bain said the motel owner had followed best practice with the use of his hot pools and commended the council for its geothermal pool testing and monitoring regime. He said in his decision he recommeded that the Rotorua District Council consider making compulsory in its control of thermal pools that the signage clearly displays a warning that the users of pools should not bathe alone.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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