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Rescue operation under way after man gets into difficulty in water

PUBLISHED: 16:46 08 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:10 08 August 2020

The rescue at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt Photography

The rescue at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt Photography

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A rescue operation is under way at a popular country park.

The rescue team at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt PhotographyThe rescue team at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt Photography

Emergency services, including police and the fire service, were called to Bawsey Country Park at around 11.30am on Saturday (August 8) morning.

It followed reports of a missing man who is believed to have got into difficulty in the water.

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service confirmed two water rescue boats, four fire crews and a drone were at the scene.

The rescue at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt PhotographyThe rescue at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt Photography

UPDATE: Man dies after getting into difficulty in water at country park, police confirm

Just after 2.30pm, police said search efforts were ongoing.

Further details on the incident have not yet been disclosed.

Bawsey Country Park remains widely known as Bawsey Pits due to its previous existence as a quarry.

A search is under way at Bawsey Country Park after a man got into difficulty in the water. Photo: Ian Burt PhotographyA search is under way at Bawsey Country Park after a man got into difficulty in the water. Photo: Ian Burt Photography

These days the former sand workings has a second life as a beauty spot and is open to the public. Signs around the lake forbid swimming but they have in the past been ignored.

MORE: Fears people using open waters are more at risk of drowning than ever

The rescue team at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt PhotographyThe rescue team at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt Photography

Depths are unpredictable where gravel has been dug by drag line, leaving bars and much deeper areas where the water can plunge to 20ft or more.

It means swimmers risk cramp and their legs seizing up if they unexpectedly enter a colder pocket of water.

The rescue at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt PhotographyThe rescue at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt Photography

In July 2013, two men - 41-year-old Ryan Pettengell, from King’s Lynn, and 16-year-old Umar Balogun, from London - drowned in different lakes at Bawsey Pits on the same day.

Friends later revealed Mr Pettengell had been searching for the teenager when he got into difficulty, and an inquest later recorded a verdict of accidental death.

In 2015, Bawsey Pits changed hands after being sold by minerals firm, Sibelco, to Stephen Bacon, who ran a waste recycling firm in the area and owns neighbouring woodland.

A search is under way at Bawsey Country Park after a man got into difficulty in the water. Photo: Ian Burt PhotographyA search is under way at Bawsey Country Park after a man got into difficulty in the water. Photo: Ian Burt Photography

Following an illegal rave in 2018, Mr Bacon pledged to improve the site and transform it into a tourist attraction with sailing facilities, an ampitheatre and picnic areas.

The rescue at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt PhotographyThe rescue at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt Photography

The rescue team at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt PhotographyThe rescue team at Bawsey Country Park. Photo: Ian Burt Photography

A search is under way at Bawsey Country Park after a man got into difficulty in the water. Photo: Ian Burt PhotographyA search is under way at Bawsey Country Park after a man got into difficulty in the water. Photo: Ian Burt Photography

A search and rescue operation is under way at Bawsey Pitts, near King's Lynn. Photo: Ian BurtA search and rescue operation is under way at Bawsey Pitts, near King's Lynn. Photo: Ian Burt

A search and rescue operation is under way at Bawsey Pitts, near King's Lynn. Photo: Ian BurtA search and rescue operation is under way at Bawsey Pitts, near King's Lynn. Photo: Ian Burt


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