Firefighters have been on the water to test new safety measures introduced to prevent further tragedies at Bawsey Pits.
Plans have been drawn up in the months after the deaths of Ryan Pettengell, 41, of Lynn, and 16-year-old Umar Balogun, at the beauty spot in July last year.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue and site owners, Sibelco, have been working on the new measures, which were successfully tested by crews from Lynn and Methwold on Wednesday. The 170-acre park and lakes have been divided into grids with four numbered rendezvous points for emergency services and the public.
This first exercise, which included water rescue techniques, was undertaken by Lynn’s blue watch with more to follow.
Lynn station manager Tim Edwards said: “Because of the number of high profile incidents at Bawsey, this is an area where we really needed to completely bottom out our plans so we can respond quickly and effectively.
“We are very pleased with how the exercise went. But people should not swim in open water.”
Steve Fysh, supervisor at the Sibelco’s Lynn sand quarry, said: “Bawsey is a big place and it’s easy for people to be unsure about where they are in the park. By having the rendezvous points and grid references available it should provide both them and the emergency services with a bit more information and that could save valuable time in the case of an emergency.
“Sadly the 49 safety signs we have there are often targeted by vandals. They are there to saves lives of course so we’d hope that people would respect them because no one knows when help might be needed next.”
The firm is consulting on the park’s future. A questionnaire is available on the Lynn News website or go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/The_Future_of_Bawsey_Lakes