A campaign to highlight the dangers of quarries as playgrounds, and the perils of entering lakes, rivers and canals in warmer weather, continues in to September, supported by Isle MP Andrew Percy.
Even on hot days, the water in quarry lakes and reservoirs can be extremely cold. At 15 degrees celsius and below, the body can experience cold water shock when immersed in water.
This results in a sudden, involuntary inhalation of water into the lungs, and can be deadly. The cold water temperature can cause even strong swimmers to tire quickly, become breathless and possibly disorientated.
Mr Percy said: “I support this campaign to raise awareness of the potentially devastating risks that these sites can pose. All too often, people don’t properly recognise how dangerous it can be to go swimming at these locations, which is why we are encouraging local people to share this message.
“Sadly, our area already knows too well the tragic cost that can be paid when young people are tempted into dangerous water, and I hope that this campaign can help prevent others from taking these risks.”
On average, there are around 400 accidental drownings each year across the UK. Many of the tragic deaths are in open water such as quarry lakes or reservoirs. Tragedies occur when people are enjoying leisure time and act on what they perceive as harmless fun. Only last month a 19-year old boy drowned while swimming with friends in a former quarry lake.
The Stay Safe campaign is aimed at raising awareness of water safety during the school summer holidays and beyond as warm weather lingers.
Led by the Mineral Products Association the campaign and its supporters ask people to share the message ‘Stay Safe, Stay Out of Quarries’ as well as other dangerous sites, fast flowing or deep water.
Man-made quarry lakes or reservoirs can be extremely deep, have sudden changes in water depth, be difficult to exit and conceal a range of hazards such as pumps, entangling weeds, rocks and old machinery.
But there are over 800 active and thousands more former quarries across the UK. Most people either live or holiday within a few miles of a quarry, many of which have water filled voids. Visit the campaign’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/StaySafeStayOutOfQuarries