Mum offered holiday for dead son
By JOHN TROUP
and BEN ASHFORD
August 20, 2007
A MUM whose son drowned in a sunshine hotel pool has slammed a resort chain for offering her a free HOLIDAY.
Grieving Samantha Cobbold was stunned when bosses said she could have a week’s stay as a gesture of “condolence” for the loss of 17-year-old Ashley Surtees.
To add to her disgust, in a letter written in broken English they even promised to throw in a free spa pass.
Furious Samantha, 42, who is planning legal action against the company, said: “My son was a fit, healthy teenager with the world at his feet. Do they really think a free holiday can compensate for a precious young life?”
Trainee bricklayer Ashley died during a sunshine break with his family and girlfriend in Playa del Ingles on Gran Canaria in July.
Eyewitnesses said he appeared to have been pinned to the bottom of the pool at the Ifa Hotel Dunamar when he swam over a suction vent.
Ashley’s dad Jerry, 51, and several other holidaymakers jumped into the water and tried in vain to revive him.
The family, of Stowmarket, Suffolk, heard nothing from the Lopesan-Ifa hotel chain until the letter offering a week for two at another resort arrived last week.
It read: “Being this invitation the way our chain wishes to express their condolence.”
Samantha added: “I am gobsmacked they could even think of it. I never want to go on holiday again.”
An inquest into Ashley’s death is due to be held in Suffolk later this year.
Thomas Cook — who the family booked the break through — denied the hotel was negligent and said the pool met Spanish regulations.