Stop ‘selfish’ behaviour at Bawsey Pits

People are continuing to swim at Bawsey Pits despite the tragedy
People are continuing to swim at Bawsey Pits despite the tragedy

People are continuing to go into the water at Bawsey Pits despite yesterday marking the second anniversary of the deaths of two swimmers.

Owners of the country park, Sibelco, fear another life will be lost at the park unless people start to heed the safety warnings.

Patrol staff have been shocked to find people in the water, including many children, while their parents sit yards from the ‘no swimming’ signs.

Irresponsible behaviour at Bawsey continues with the discovery this week of a cave formation dug into an unsupported sand cliff.

Yesterday marked the second anniversary of the deaths of 41-year-old Lynn man, Ryan Pettengell and Umar Balogun, 16, who both drowned at the lakes.

Sibelco’s Lynn site manager, Simon Mace, is warning people not to get into the water.

He said: “To be blunt we fear that someone else is going to die.

“We don’t know what more we can do. We have worked with the emergency services to increase the number and quality of safety signs and employed staff to patrol the site offering advice.

“Last summer we had people on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But their advice is being ignored.

“And as for the sand caverns we discovered, they were terrifying, unspeakably dangerous.

“Not only for the people who dug them but imagine a child finding them later. They could have wandered in, fascinated, completely unaware they could be buried alive at any moment.

“The police have advised us that unless an offence is being committed there’s nothing they can do.

“The two deaths in 2013 were devastating for all concerned, including my staff who have a real sense of duty to protect the public.

“Each day now they are coming to work, deeply concerned there will be another tragedy.

“The behaviour of some people at Bawsey Pits is not only irresponsible but also very selfish and we are pleading that something changes now before there’s cause for further regret.”

In February last year, a verdict of accidental death was recorded at an inquest for Mr Pettengell.

Accidental death was also recorded for Umar following an inquest held last month.

Sibelco is currently in the process of selling Bawsey Pits to Wisbech-based businessman Kevin Salter, who is looking to create holiday lodges, a restaurant and cafe, along with controlled parking at the site.