Mum’s Plea for Answers After 8-Year-Old Son Drowns at First Overnight School Camp

A heartbroken mum is living every parent’s worst nightmare after losing her little boy at his very first overnight school camp.

Their son, eight-year-old Cooper Onyett drowned in a pool at Belfast Aquatics in the rural Victorian town of Port Fairy just before 11 am on Friday. He was on an overnight camp with his year two classmates from Merribale Primacy Schoool in Warrnambool.

As the family comes to terms with this absolute tragedy, they are also left desperate for answers on how this could have happened.

‘I’ve got no answers’

His mother Skye Meinen told the Herald Sun that she still doesn’t have details surrounding her son’s tragic death:

I’ve got no answers. I don’t know what happened. I don’t have any information about the accident from the school. Nobody has actually told me what happened.

All I know is that I had an excited little boy going on his first ever sleepover school camp.

I dropped him off on Thursday and gave him a great big hug goodbye and said, ‘I’ll see you on Friday’.”

Cooper was clearly a very loved little boy who has been described by his family as “wonderful, adorable and cheeky.”

He lived every single day of his life with a smile and tried to make everyone around him happy and tried to get them to appreciate everything around them.” – Skye, Cooper’s mum

Our hearts are shattered. Love you always Cooper. You will forever be loved and missed more than words can say!” – Tara, Cooper’s aunt

So excited for school camp

Cooper has just turned 8 years old on May 9th and was over the moon about going on his first school camp. The social little boy loved school and being with his friends.

He brightened up everything. Cooper loved anything that involved lots of people.”

Second tragedy for family

Tragically, Cooper isn’t the first son Skye has lost. Cooper’s twin, Ethan, also passed away before the pair were born.

This is like Groundhog Day after losing Ethan,” Skye said. “I’ve been here before, sadly. I don’t think a parent should have to go through this once, let alone twice. I am really vacant.”

Cooper’s older brother, Jett, has also been left shattered by the death of his “best mate”.

When we first arrived at the hospital, the first thing Jett screamed was, ‘He’s my only friend! It was just really terrible.”

A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help the family pay for the funeral costs, which have exceeded $90,000.

Belfast Aquatics remains closed to the public and Cooper’s family are praying they have answers to what happened soon.

Second death on school excursion this year

Less than two months ago, another young boy lost his life during a school fishing trip in South Australia.

Ahmad Alfarhan, 16, was standing with a group of seven children on the rocks at Browns Beach in Innes National Park when one of his friends fell in.

Ahmad jumped in to try and save his friend, however, quite tragically didn’t make it out alive. His body was pulled out of the water the next day. Ahmad was a year 11 student at Pinnacle College in Elizabeth, SA, and loved soccer.

Our hearts go out to the families who are mourning the loss of Cooper and Ahmad.

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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