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Call to close West Norfolk beauty spot after latest drowning tragedy





The family of a man who drowned at a West Norfolk beauty spot last week has launched an online petition amid calls for the site to be closed down.

Radek Gina, 20, was pronounced dead at the Bawsey Country Park last Wednesday, despite the valiant efforts of rescuers and an off-duty paramedic who tried to revive him.

There are signs around the park warning people of the dangers of swimming in the deep, cold, pits but with temperatures soaring on Wednesday many, including Radek, who was there with friends were tempted into the water.

Radek Gina sadly drowned at Bawsey Pits on Wednesday.
Radek Gina sadly drowned at Bawsey Pits on Wednesday.

The park's owners issued a plea for people visiting the site to stay out of its waters in the wake of the tragedy.

The petition, which has been set up via change.org, said: "On Wednesday, the 16th of June 2021 our grandson Radek tragically lost his life in the water at Bawsey Country Park Norfolk.

"There are signs to say don’t get into the water and old quarry and very dangerous, but this is not the first time that this has happened, The signs are clearly not working.

The family of a Wisbech man have launched a petition to close a local beauty spot. (48434455)
The family of a Wisbech man have launched a petition to close a local beauty spot. (48434455)

"Radek was just 20 years old just out enjoying an afternoon with his friends in the sunshine when they along with many others got into the water,.

"Radek and his friend both got into difficulty when some other friends realised and tried to help they got Radek's friend out and had to go back in for Radek.

"They did manage to get Radek to the shore line, where the emergency services were called and a passer-by who happened to be a paramedic started to do CPR.

There are signs up warning people not to swim in the pits, but the family says they are not working.
There are signs up warning people not to swim in the pits, but the family says they are not working.

"It took emergency services more than 25 minutes to be able to get to the scene as the grounds are not suitable for emergency vehicles.

"There is a park warden but they were nowhere around the park at the time. The park was closed years ago because it was unsafe and as far as we can tell nothing has changed since the reopening of the park."

In a statement issued after Wednesday's tragedy, the park said: “The owners and staff of Bawsey Country Park would like to offer their sincere condolences to the family and friends of the man who tragically lost his life at the park yesterday.

“We would also like to express our thanks and praise for all the emergency services who attended yesterday and worked tirelessly to deal with such an awful situation.

Bawsey Country Park, where the tragedy happened.
Bawsey Country Park, where the tragedy happened.

“Since we took on the park we have worked closely with the relevant authorities including the Police and the Fire Brigade in order to improve the safety of the park.

“The park rules, including the direction to stay out of the water, are clear all over the park, on our website and on our social media. We have greatly increased the safety signage around the park and ensured the signs are pictorial so that they are clear for visitors of all nationalities.

“We regularly update our social media with educational content to educate visitors as to the dangers of going into the water and why they should not do so.

“With the approval of the emergency services, we have recently installed six emergency throwlines and ID boards around the lakes.

“Our warden, park staff and catering vendors have all recently received basic training with Norfolk Fire and Rescue services.

“Our warden patrols the site daily and advises people to stay out of the water, and all our refreshment vendors are supplied with throw ropes in case of an emergency. We have created and improved access routes within the park for emergency vehicles.”

The statement concluded: “The loss of this young man’s life is yet another tragedy.

“We remain committed to improving the park and promoting its safe usage so that it can remain a beautiful natural site for local people to use safely and enjoy for many years to come, but we need our visitors to help us.

“We reiterate our plea for visitors to abide by the park rules and PLEASE STAY OUT OF THE WATER so that no future tragedies occur.”

To sign the petition, which has already had more than 200 signatures since its launch earlier today, visit Change.org

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More on this story

Grandmother of Bawsey Pits drowning victim Radek Gina petitions for 'better' safety measures at beauty spot

Man, 20, drowns at Bawsey Pits

Calls to close West Norfolk beauty spot after tragic death

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