MPA urges members to help raise public awareness of the dangers of open water.
The recent tragic deaths of two teenage boys in the Republic of Ireland and a 28 year-old father in a site in Scotland only reinforces the importance of maintaining vigilance at all sites and supporting campaigns that help to educate the public about ‘Cold Water Shock’ and the hazards associated with open water such as Quarry lakes and reservoirs. Thankfully none of the incidents were on CEMEX sites.
Whilst it will be some time before the detailed information is available on these two incidents, early press reports tell an all too familiar story. Both cases involved a disused Quarry lake where there were warning signs about the dangers of swimming. In one case, the adult male appears to have been jumping from high rocks into the Quarry lake and failed to re-appear. In the second, a group of boys were in the Quarry, one attempted to swim out to an island and got into trouble, a friend who went to help him also drowned, a third teenager also got into difficulty, but was able to return to dry land. It is understood that this site was well known locally for people swimming and that the water in the lake was very deep and cold. Even after the fatalities, people were seen swimming in the lake the next day. A better appreciation of the hazards they were exposing themselves to might have made them think twice before engaging in these activities.
MPA is supporting the UK’s National Drowning Prevention Strategy which aims to half the number of accidental drownings by 2026. A key theme of the strategy is to raise public awareness of the hazards associated with open water. MPA is committed to promoting campaigns which seek to achieve this. The campaigns being run by the RNLI and the RLSS (Royal Life Saving Society) have excellent resources and provide key safety messages that apply to both inland water and coastal waters. Please help us to support these campaigns by sharing the videos and website links with your colleagues.
The RNLI Respect the Water campaign highlights how floating can help save your life when suddenly plunged into water. Circa. 50% of accidental drowning involve individuals falling into water.
The RLSS will be launching its Drowning Prevention Week on the 15 June. Please see their safety messages and free resources. Please share also these with your colleagues and ask them to share them with their family and friends. Hopefully, a better-informed community will help prevent others from putting their lives at risk.
MPA has a campaign Facebook page: Stay Safe Stay Out of Quarries, videos and other free resources that can be used to support your community engagement work.
Please contact Elizabeth Clements if you would like MPA support with a particular problem site.