Family's tribute to 'lovely boy' as safety petition launched after drowning

Radek Gina, 20, has been named as the 20-year-old who drowned at Bawsey Pits on Wednesday, June 16.

The family of Radek Gina have called for safety improvements at Bawsey Country Park - Credit: Denise Bradley/Facebook

The family of a "lovely boy" who drowned at a west Norfolk beauty spot have launched a petition demanding safety improvements.

Radek Gina, from Wisbech, died on Wednesday June 16 after getting into difficulty at Bawsey Country Park, also known as Bawsey Pits.

The 20-year-old was the fourth person to drown at the former quarry, near King's Lynn, in less than a decade. 

Former College of West Anglia student Radek Gina drowned at Bawsey Pits near King’s Lynn on June 16.

Radek Gina, from Wisbech, drowned after getting into difficulty at Bawsey Country Park - Credit: Facebook

In the wake of Mr Gina's death, an array of flowers, photographs, messages and candles have been left at the shore.

And now family members have paid tribute to a "very popular lad" who had recently studied at the College of West Anglia to become a bricklayer. 

"Radek was was into everything you'd expect at that age," said his aunt, Violet Cunningham.

"He played football, he took on golf and snooker, and he was really into his cars. If he was not at home, he was at the snooker hall.

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"He was always getting his hair cut as well, so when lockdown came around it was the end of the world!

Radek Gina

Tributes to Radek Gina left on the shoreline at Bawsey Country Park - Credit: Chris Bishop

"He was the oldest of six siblings and they all looked up to him. Radek set a really good example."

Mr Gina's grandmother, Dawn Cunningham, added: "He was a lovely boy who looked after himself, too.

"He was really well domesticated from a young age and very smart. You would never catch him looking scruffy."

The lakes at Bawsey are flooded sand quarries and, while the water may look inviting, temperatures plunge sharply in deeper areas.

Swimmers are therefore at risk of cold water shock, and obstacles below the surface may represent hidden dangers.

 

Radek Gina

Tributes to Radek Gina left on the shoreline at Bawsey Country Park - Credit: Chris Bishop

Visitors are told not to swim, with more 40 warning signs across the park and a warden patrolling the lakes.

But Mr Gina's family say that is not enough and, via a petition, are demanding change.

"We want to raise awareness about the dangers of going in the water," added Dawn Cunningham.

"Bawsey is totally unmanned and the safety measures they have got in place are not enough. They've got the signs but there needs to be more.

"We know he should not have been in the water and, really, he would know that. But over the years nothing has really changed."

To view the petition, visit change.org

Bawsey Country Park declined to comment.

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