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Families ignore warnings to stay out of the water at country park where man drowned

PUBLISHED: 15:19 10 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:01 14 August 2020

Children and families swimming in the small lake at Bawsey Pits Country Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Children and families swimming in the small lake at Bawsey Pits Country Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Families were still taking to the water in a lake where a man drowned over the weekend despite warnings not to swim or paddle.

The warning signs which are around the carpark and both lakes at Bawsey Pits Country Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe warning signs which are around the carpark and both lakes at Bawsey Pits Country Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A man in his 20s died after getting into difficulty in a lake at Bawsey Country Park, near King’s Lynn, on Saturday.

His body was recovered after firefighters searched the water using boats.

While the beauty spot was quiet as temperatures soared on Monday, families were still taking to the water.

One woman who was with her children in a shallow spot said she did know a man had drowned. Her partner said they were only paddling and did not intend to venture out into deeper water.

Emergency services on the scene at Bawsey Country Park, near King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtEmergency services on the scene at Bawsey Country Park, near King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Dozens of families were in the water in a smaller lake, next to the 80-acre former quarry where the man drowned.

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A warden, who said he did not wish to comment, was patrolling both waters asking everyone to get out of the water. Visitors appeared happy to respond when approached.

Saturday’s tragedy was the third death to happen at Bawsey in a decade. A 41-year-old man from King’s Lynn and a 16-year-old boy from London drowned on the same day in July 2013.

Emergency services on the scene at Bawsey Country Park, near King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtEmergency services on the scene at Bawsey Country Park, near King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

In a statement on social media the owners and staff of the park offered their condolences to the family and friends of the latest man to die.

It added: “The loss of this young man’s life is a tragedy which we hope with all our hearts will never be repeated.

“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.”

Safety signage was increased after businessman Stephen Bacon took over to former gravel workings in 2018, pledging to turn them into a family-friendly country park.

The statement said: “Our warden patrols the site daily and advises people to stay out of the water, and all our refreshment vendors are supplied with life rings and throw ropes in case of emergency.”


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