A MUM from Belbroughton has described how she found her five-year-old son “floating face down” in a swimming pool while on holiday in Portugal.

Archie Skidmore had taken off his life jacket before drowning in the villa’s private pool, on the first day of a week-long family holiday, an inquest heard.

After an ambulance had been called, mum Rachel Skidmore, a trained first aider, gave her son CPR – all just hours after arriving at the property near Silves, in Algarve.

Rachel said she and husband Steven Skidmore were sitting out on an upstairs terrace, overlooking the pool, and "looked over the balcony and that’s when we saw Archie”.

Archie, who was a triplet, and his brothers George and William were “desperate” to get in the pool as soon as they arrived on July 28, his mum told Worcestershire Coroners Court.

With Steven and his mum Ursula Skidmore having gone to a local supermarket and Rachel unpacking, the boys were initially playing in the pool under the supervision of granddad Martin Skidmore.

Rachel said the boys were not able to swim properly but had been having regular swimming lessons once or twice a week.

She explained how she’d bought them all lifejacket-style buoyancy devices and reiterated the importance of wearing them near the pool.

“We made sure that they were wearing them and made them aware they were not to go in the pool without them, and not around the pool without an adult,” she told the court on Wednesday.

“I repeated that and so did Martin for over half an hour or an hour. I took inflatable rings and blew those up and so they had quite a few buoyancy devices at the time.”

It was later on, with Steven and Ursula having returned from the shops, and the boys playing indoors, that their parents were out on the balcony.

“Archie was floating face down in water without his life jacket on,” Rachel said, describing seeing her young son in the pool.

Andrew Cox, assistant coroner, said he was satisfied the cause of death was drowning and that it was an accident.

“Archie was swimming in a pool and at some point he removed the floatation device and got into the pool unsupervised,” he said.

Martin, also present at the inquest, said he had “reservations about the lifejackets.”

He said: “They are not lifejackets but floatation devices. They zip up at the front but the children could unzip them.”

He said the zips “should be on the back” and that Archie’s two brothers wore them back to front for the rest of the week.

“It’s something that needs to be brought to attention,” added Martin.

Mr Cox said he did not have a post mortem result, as various papers were still being transferred and translated from Portuguese authorities.

Rachel said: “It’s very important that I see the findings of the autopsy. Purely because I would like to know if he had a bump to his head – if he was conscious or unconscious before he went in the water.

“Those are questions I need answering, personally,” she added.

The family, from Belbroughton, previously featured in the Worcester News in 2013 after the triplets were born at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The hospital usually sees one set of triplets every 18 months, but Archie and his brothers were one set of six triplets born that year, leaving doctors and midwives baffled.