A Quick Dip, A Quick Death? Not this Summer!
With the first tastes of summer already upon us, reservoirs and other water bodies such as disused quarries can look like a perfect place to spend a beautiful day.
However, that calm-as-a-milkpond exterior can appear so inviting on a warm day will in fact carry real danger that everyone should be aware of.
On 3 June 2013, two people died in the ice cold waters of Paul’s Quarry near Annalong which had been a place where local people had bathed regularly.
The message being sent out this summer is that a ‘A Quick Dip can very easily lead to a Quick Death!’
In order to help make this summer safe for everyone, NI Water and Quarry Products Association NI are once again uniting to put out a strong message to the community, especially young people, to stay away from reservoirs, quarries and other bodies of water that are not usually open for public access.
As Michael Bergin, Health and Safety Manager at NI Water, said: “There is a real danger lying beneath the surface. Understandably, a reservoir can look like the perfect place to cool down on a warm day, but while it may look safe, it can be very dangerous. You may swim well in a warm indoor pool, but that does not mean that you will be able to swim in extremely cold water.
“These dangers include:
* Very cold temperatures; the water can be bitterly cold even in summer months.
* There can be strong underwater currents, which can trouble even the most confident of swimmers.
* Reservoirs are often very deep, much deeper than you expect.
* There may be hidden debris or underwater hazards which can cause injury, including weeds and plants, which can entangle you under the water.
* It can be very difficult to get out of the water (steep slimy banks).
* There are no lifeguards on duty.
“We want everyone to have a fantastic summer, and hopefully we’ll have the warm, sunny weather to match the season. But always resist the temptation to cool off in a reservoir or a quarry; a quick dip really could mean a quick death!’’
Gordon Best, Regional Director of The Quarry Products Association NI, said: ‘‘Safety around water in reservoirs and quarry lakes is a matter of huge concern to both our organisations, and we are keen to raise awareness of the dangers as we enter the summer.
“The Quarry Products Association is pleased to work alongside NI Water in the promotion of cold water safety to encourage young people to stay safe around water bodies.
“We appeal to everyone to recognise the dangers and take care around cold water. A swim or a dip in a reservoir, quarry or lake may seem like a great idea, particularly on a very warm day, but it could all end in tragedy.
“Don’t take the risk.’’