Patrols start to keep Bawsey Pits safe

A group of men ignore the warning signs and enter the water at Bawsey Lakes

A group of men ignore the warning signs and enter the water at Bawsey Lakes

A warden will be patrolling Bawsey Pits during the summer holidays to deter people from entering the lakes in a bid to prevent further tragedy.

Sibelco has taken on a warden to conduct regular sweeps of the country park to discourage swimming and to hand out leaflets.

The firm is now receiving daily reports of people swimming in the lakes despite last year’s double tragedy.

Lynn man Ryan Pettengell, 41, and 16-year-old Umar Balogun both drowned in separate incidents on July 16 last year.

A spokesman for the company said: “We are hoping that this will spread an exceptionally clear message that people are not to enter the water.

“It is our way to keep people safe this summer although I do have to stress that this has to be a partnership between Sibelco, the landowner, and the public who hope to enjoy Bawsey for the lovely place it is.

“People must take responsibility for their own actions. We can only do so much. We are doing as much as we feel we are allowed to do bearing in mind that this is a country park with free access to the public.”

The company is taking on a warden, who is not a security guard and will not have any powers, to conduct shifts throughout the day during the summer.

The warden will be provided with a 4x4 and a host of leaflets written in English and with pictures to illustrate the dangers of swimming.

The patrols are also hoped to stop the anti-social behaviour which has been plaguing the park recently.

Safety signs have been vandalised and people are using parts of the park as a toilet.

Resources director Gary Stringer said in last week’s Lynn News: “It is also disheartening that safety signs have again been attacked by vandals and that the site is being used as an open toilet.”

He said the firm will ensure that the damage is repaired.

It is now working with authorities and groups in the community to find a long-term solution for the park.


Back to the top of the page