Monday 24th July 2014 – 10am – Steve Parry.
On average, more than 400 people drown in the UK each year. Nearly 60 of these are children and young people. Ambulance bosses are therefore urging adults and children not to think about swimming in unsupervised waters this summer.
Each year tragedy strikes when children and adults are seriously injured or killed as a result of cooling off in rivers, ponds, canals and abandoned quarries across the region.
West Midlands Ambulance Service is highlighting the inherent dangers with a public safety campaign geared to educating the public unfamiliar with the hazards that exist at disused water-filled sand and gravel quarries and other stretches of uncharted water.
Video – John Woodhall at Gullet Quarry; scene of two deaths last year:
“As schools breaks-up for the summer holidays there are more opportunities to explore the great outdoors,” said John Woodhall, WMAS Hazardous Area Response Team Support Manager. “We want people to stay safe and be aware that rivers, pools, lakes and disused quarries are not recreation grounds and there are no lifeguards coming to the rescue if you get into difficulty.
“Water-filled quarries claim lives every year through drowning accidents. They have slippery slopes and unstable rock ledges. The water, which looks inviting, may conceal old machinery and sharp objects left behind after a mining operation closes. Even expert swimmers will encounter trouble in the dangerous and deceptively cold waters.”
The message from WMAS is clear: ‘Stay Out of the Water’. If you want to cool off this summer, make sure you use a local amenity where lifeguard supervision is present at all times.