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Lakes at tragic beauty spot will be patrolled around the clock

11:01 26 July 2014

Bawsey Pits. Picture: Ian Burt

Bawsey Pits. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

A beauty spot where two men drowned last summer will be patrolled around the clock from Monday.

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It comes in a week where three teenagers and a student have lost their lives after getting into difficulties in lakes and rivers.

Ryan Pettengell, 41 and 16-year-old Umar Balogun died last July at Bawsey Pits, near King’s Lynn.

Minerals firm Sibelco, which owns the site, says people are still ignoring warnings not to swim in the flooded quarry workings, near Lynn.

New signs placed around the lakes have been vandalised, while quarry workers say people have been swimming and using rubber dinghies. Now the site will be patrolled around the clock from Monday.

“Subject to the final ‘i’s being dotted, it’s going to be for the
duration of the school holidays, it’s going to be 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said spokesman Nigel Canham.

“They will be working as security advisers and not as security guards. They will have no more authority or responsibility than any other member of the public.

“But should they see anything
illegal, anti-social or dangerous happening on the site, they will notify the relevant authorities.

“It’s not a cheap option. It’s going to cost tens of thousands of pounds. It’s a gesture by the firm to try to make sure everyone who uses Bawsey this summer has all the safety information they need.”

A boy drowned in the River Ouse near Huntingdon on Thursday. His body was recovered from the river yesterday.

Norfolk fire service divers helped Bedfordshire police search for misssing Conor McColl, 16, whose body was recovered from the water at Clophill, near Luton, yesterday.

On Wednesday, the body of 20-year-old student David Zikhali was recovered from the River Tees at Stockton, while on Tuesday Kyrece Marshall, 13, died after being swept away in the River Thames at Marlow, Bucks.

Hundreds took part in a public consultation about the future of the pits. Sibelco told a public meeting earlier this month that it wants to transform them into a country park safe for families to enjoy.

What do you think should happen to the pits? Email chris.bishop@archant.co.uk

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