A MUM says she feels 'let down' by leisure centre staff after her four-year-old son got into trouble during a swimming lesson.

Joanne Royle-Ellis, whose son Jack attends lessons at Pendle Wavelengths in Nelson, says she ran from one side of the pool to the other when the four-year-old slipped under the water and didn’t resurface for around 10 seconds.

The mum-of-one says despite him only being under water for a short while it 'felt like an hour.'

The 33-year-old was watching Jack have his lesson with around six other children when they were taken to the deep end by the instructor to take turns jumping into the pool.

The mum, from Burnley, said: “After Jack had jumped in the instructor moved her attention to the next child waiting to jump in and failed to notice that my son hadn’t managed to get out of the water safely.

“Jack had slipped under the water by the stairs and was unable to reach the surface.

“I called out ‘where is he?’ and left my seat and made my way across from the seating area.

“Another parent was up out of her seat saying ‘there’s a child under the water’.

“It took for me to reach the far side of the pool before the instructor became aware of the situation and pulled him out.”

Mrs Royle-Ellis said the lesson was taken by a different instructor than Jack's normal tutor.

She said: “I spoke to her afterwards and she tried to down play the event by saying he was only under for a second and had let go of her hand. He was under the water for about ten seconds, but it felt like an hour.

“I also spoke to the manager who told me they’d investigate but I didn’t hear anything else from them.

“There was no lifeguard on either and they weren’t even apologetic. I feel disappointed and let down by them.”

Jack has now been moved to a different swimming class with a different instructor.

Pendle Leisure Trust’s chief executive, Alison Goode, said: “The health and safety of our customers, especially children who are learning to swim, is paramount. All of our swimming teachers are highly qualified and competent.

“This incident happened because the swimming teacher was helping the children to jump into the water. She turned around for one second to help another child, by which time Mrs Royle-Ellis’s son had gone under the water.

“At all times, the pool is patrolled by highly-qualified and skilled lifeguards who would have spotted the boy and pulled him out.

“This didn’t happen as Mrs Royle-Ellis had already seen her son go under the water and ran onto the poolside, by which time the swimming teacher had already got to him and pulled him out.

“As with any incident of this nature, this has been investigated thoroughly using the Trust’s internal policy and procedures.

“Mrs Royle-Ellis has signed up for another 10 week swimming lesson course for her son, but has changed teacher.”