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‘There is a real danger’ - safety message to keep safe in county’s waters after double tragedy

PUBLISHED: 08:33 10 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:33 10 August 2020

Emergency services on the scene at Bawsey Country Park, near King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Emergency services on the scene at Bawsey Country Park, near King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Burt Photography

Fresh safety warnings have been issued to those heading out to enjoy the water following the death of two people at the weekend at popular beauty spots in Norfolk.

Greg Preston head of prevention and protection at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. Picture: Norfolk Fire and Rescue ServiceGreg Preston head of prevention and protection at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. Picture: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

Greg Preston, from Norfolk Fire Service, spoke on BBC Radio Norfolk on Monday following the death of a man in his 20s, at Bawsey Country Park, and a woman in her 30s, in water at Waxham.

The fire service spokesman said the incidents showed the dangers of the water and urged people to take the time to read information to keep themselves safe.

Mr Preston said: “We are fortunate in Norfolk that we are surrounded by beautiful coastline and waterways but unfortunately they present a real hazard and we do see time and time again that unfortunately people do lose their lives in the water.”

On Saturday, emergency services were called to one of the lakes at the former Bawsey Pits quarry in King’s Lynn.

The Sea Palling independent lifeboat during a previous rescue. Picture: Sea Palling lifeboatThe Sea Palling independent lifeboat during a previous rescue. Picture: Sea Palling lifeboat

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Preston said while disused quarries could be dangerous due to the depth of the water, many people have lost their lives in shallow water, due to the change in temperature causing cold water shock.

Mr Preston said: “It’s not just about the depth of the water, it’s about the fact that you do not know what is under that surface and it is likely to be extremely cold just under the surface.”

On Sunday, emergency services, including police and ambulance, joined coastguard rescue teams and Sea Palling Lifeboat launched a major rescue operation after several people were in difficulty in the water at Waxham.

The woman, who has not been named, died on arrival to hospital after being pulled from the water.

Mr Preston said: “Anybody visiting the beach, if they are going with family, anybody, planning on going in the sea, please take time to look online for information on how to stay safe in the sea.

“They look very inviting and absolutely understandable given the weather conditions that we have been having, given the fact many many of us have been subject to lockdown for long periods of time there is temptation to get out and enjoy the beautiful beaches and countryside that we have but unfortunately there is a downside to that. There is a real danger.

“The sea is a different set of risks again, tides, currents, there are unseen risks at the beach and unfortunately again we have seen an example of this at the weekend.”


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