Letter: Please be aware of quarry lakes swimming risks

Raising awareness of water safety during the school summer holidays.
Raising awareness of water safety during the school summer holidays.

I am writing to request your readers’ help in raising awareness of water safety during the school summer holidays and the warmer weather.

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is supporting the water safety campaigns being run by other organisations such as the RNLI, RLSS and the Fire and Rescue Services.

Collectively, we do not want to discourage members of the public from enjoying the water but would like people to be aware of the risks and choose to swim in areas that are safe.

On average, there are circa 400 accidental drownings each year spread across the UK. Many of these tragic deaths are in open water such as quarry lakes, reservoirs, rivers and canals.

The water in quarry lakes and reservoirs can be extremely cold even on a hot summer’s day.

At 15C 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 which can be deadly.

The cold water can also cause even strong swimmers to tire quickly, become breathless and potentially disorientated.

To find out more, view the campaign Facebook page Stay Safe Stay Out of Quarries and “share” this with others. Please also remember that warning signs and fences are there to help protect you and your family.

Elizabeth Clements

Mineral Products Association