Call for Wigan quarry to be drained after tragic death of teenager

An MP has called for a notorious quarry to be drained “as a matter of urgency” after a 16-year-old boy died there at the weekend.

The teenager was recovered from Dawber Delph, in Appley Bridge, after getting into difficulty on Saturday, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Tragedy as teenager dies after getting into difficulty in a Wigan quarry

Tragically, the death of the boy – who has not yet been publicly named – comes after the loss of several other lives in the quarry over the years.

The police cordon on the fence at Dawber Delph quarry in Appley Bridge after the death of a 16-year-old boy on SaturdayThe police cordon on the fence at Dawber Delph quarry in Appley Bridge after the death of a 16-year-old boy on Saturday
The police cordon on the fence at Dawber Delph quarry in Appley Bridge after the death of a 16-year-old boy on Saturday
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West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has today called for Lancashire County Council (LCC) to approve the immediate draining of the site, which is also known as East Quarry.

She said: “I am saddened by the tragic news that a teenager has died in the East Quarry in Appley Bridge. My deepest sympathies are with his family and friends.

“Although the police, owners and local authorities have consistently done what they can to secure this quarry, to advise and prevent people from swimming in the lake, the size of the site has proved this difficult.

"Whenever we have a period of good weather, this has led to young people ignoring advice and warnings not to swim in the quarry.

MP Rosie CooperMP Rosie Cooper
MP Rosie Cooper
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“The quarry must now be drained as a matter of urgency, and I am calling on Lancashire County Council to give the final approval to any pending applications for the developers to begin draining the quarry.”

East Quarry was also where 17-year-old Craig Croston, from Platt Bridge, drowned while swimming in 1999.

Marsh Green teenager Miracle Godson drowned in the open water in 2015.

Rebecca Ramsay, whose son Dylan died in a quarry in Chorley 11 years ago, went to Appley Bridge on Sunday to deter people from entering the quarry.

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In a social media post, she said: “I spoke to some teens that had come. They were soon put off.

“This quarry needs draining and filling. No more excuses, no more deaths!"

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is running a water safety campaign highlighting the dangers of swimming and jumping in open water.

It will be supported by social media activity throughout summer, as well as displays across Greater Manchester in areas popular with young people.

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A spokesman for LCC said: "This is a terribly tragic incident and our thoughts go out to the boy's family at this really difficult time.

"Through our schools we support Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service's campaign on water safety, which highlight's the need to stay safe around open water, and would urge people to follow the advice especially as the weather remains warm.

"In terms of this site, while planning permission for a ramp was turned down last year, the owners of the quarry have used their permitted development rights to construct a smaller ramp. This did not need planning permission.

"Draining the site of water requires a licence from the Environment Agency, and we understand an application for this is currently being determined by the Agency."

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An Environment Agency Spokesperson said: “We are extremely saddened to hear of the tragic death of a 16-year-old boy at East Quarry in Appleby Bridge. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.

“We would advise members of the public to follow the advice of the emergency services around water safety and to follow the water safety code.

“In January 2021, we issued a water transfer licence to the landowners of East Quarry, which allows this quarry to be drained by 70%. However, we are awaiting additional information from the operator around timings and their

plans to minimise flood risk and pollution risk so that this work can go ahead safely and in line with current regulations to protect the environment and local community.”