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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Water Warning Following Quarry Death

26/07/2012

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued an urgent warning about water safety following the death of a teenager at a quarry in Himley near Dudley yesterday.

 "These incidents happen far too often. Youngsters are attracted to water, especially when the weather is warm but they are putting themselves at great risk."

Director of Response, Julian Hilditch

Station Manager, Neil Pedersen said: "This was a tragic incident involving a teenager who was out with friends enjoying the nice weather.

"The attraction to water can be very appealing during warm periods of weather but the dangers that this presents must not be underestimated.

"We urge parents to be particularly vigilant during the school holidays. If you spot your children taking swimwear and towels out, challenge them and ask where they are going and advise them that under no circumstances should they swim in ponds, lakes, rivers or other areas of unsupervised water."

This incident is the third fatality this week in the country involving a young person and open water.

Director of Response, Julian Hilditch said: "These incidents happen far too often.
 
"Youngsters are attracted to water, especially when the weather is warm but they are putting themselves at great risk. There are many hidden dangers beneath the water such as rocks, weeds and rubbish plus the water is often a lot colder than people think which will result in even the strongest swimmers getting into difficulty and distress. In addition, there are often under currents which can not be seen from the surface of the water.

"We urge people to only ever swim at properly supervised sites, such as swimming pools and if you are a non-swimmer please keep a suitable distance away from water at all times."

Crews from Wombourne, Kinver and Tamworth, including the water rescue unit from Tamworth, were alerted to a boy falling into water at 1.19pm yesterday.

On arrival, they were told by colleagues from the Police that the boy had not been visible for some time so specially trained firefighters took the boat out onto the water to search for the missing teenager.

Unfortunately they were unable to locate the boy so the Police underwater search unit were called for to continue with the search underwater.

Neil added: "We were told one or more of his friends did attempt to enter the water to rescue him but were unable to reach him. The quarry is a known area for young people to gather and socialise and although there are signs saying ‘danger – deep water’ they are being ignored."

Firefighters left the scene at 10pm last night. For more information on water safety visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk and click on ‘stay safe this summer’ on the homepage.