Boy, 8, drowns on first overnight school camp

·2-min read

Thousands of dollars have been raised to help a Victorian family, as they grieve the loss of their eight-year-old son who died on a school camp trip.

Cooper Onyett, 8, was away at camp in Port Fairy with his grade from Merrivale Primary School, when he drowned at an aquatic centre on Friday.

Nine News reported it was Cooper's first overnight camp.

"He loved his friends and always made new ones, no matter the age bracket," his mother Sky Meinen told Nine.

"This well-mannered and extremely loved little man will be missed beyond measure for many."

In the days since his death, more than $94,000 has been raised for Cooper's family through GoFundMe.

Cooper Onyett, 8, drowned at an aquatic centre while away on a school camp on Friday. Source: GoFundMe
Cooper Onyett, 8, drowned at an aquatic centre while away on a school camp on Friday. Source: GoFundMe

"This GoFundMe has been set up to raise funds not only for any funeral expenses but to also support Cooper's mother Skye and his family in any way needed while they grieve the loss of their amazing little boy," the fundraiser says.

In a letter to parents and carers, Merrivale Primary School principal Simon Perry said the school extended their "deepest sympathy" to Cooper's family.

"Cooper was a valued member of our school community and brought much joy to our teachers and fellow students during his time at our school," Mr Perry wrote in the public letter.

The tragic accident happened at Belfast Aquatics Port Fairy, which was shut over the weekend and on Monday and Tuesday.

On Monday, Belfast Aquatics Committee of Management Chairperson Anne McIlroy release a statement on Facebook.

The tragic incident happened at Belfast Aquatics Port Fairy in Victoria. Source: Facebook
The tragic incident happened at Belfast Aquatics Port Fairy in Victoria. Source: Facebook

“On behalf of the management committee at Belfast Aquatics, we send our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the boy who tragically lost his life on Friday while swimming at our pool," the statement said.

“This is a very difficult time for everyone, and as a committee we are rallying around the staff at Belfast Aquatics who are inconsolable about what has occurred."

Counselling was made available to pool staff and members of the public who were there at the time of the accident.

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