Visitors to quarry urged to be responsible near open water

Police have warned people to be responsible around open water after groups of visitors gathered at a quarry.
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Patrols were stepped up and a dispersal order put in place at the weekend as people visited Appley Bridge Quarry.

The recent hot weather has also seen groups gathering at reservoirs in Rivington, according to Lancashire Police.

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While the hot weather is set to cool over the next few days, the longer term forecast mains dry, so police have issued on urgent reminder to everyone, particularly young people, not to swim in reservoirs or quarries or start camp fires or barbecues in the open land around them.

Appley Bridge QuarryAppley Bridge Quarry
Appley Bridge Quarry

They say the warning is particularly important if anyone has been drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

Insp Helen Dixon said: “The easing of lockdown restrictions, combined with the recent sunshine and hot weather, has resulted in a substantial number of people travelling to quarries and reservoirs to swim, with some also lighting campfires and barbecues in the dry woodland.

“Swimming in private quarries and reservoirs constitutes trespass, but what we really want to get across is that it is not safe. Even though the weather is hot, the water can be really cold and cold water shock, injuries on hidden objects under the water and drowning are all very real possibilities. Over the years a number of young people have tragically died whilst swimming in open water in Lancashire and we want to let young people know that the risks are very real and whilst the water may seem appealing, it is incredibly dangerous.

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“Every summer we issue these warnings, yet tragically people still lose their lives through swimming where they shouldn’t, bringing heartbreak to loved ones. This is completely avoidable and we would ask the public to please stay away from open water.

"I would also remind everyone that gatherings of more than six people are prohibited under the current Covid government regulations. These regulations are there to prevent the spread of the virus and the risk of a second peak and it’s incumbent on every one of us to do our bit to keep people across Lancashire safe. We will always engage with people and explain these rules but we will enforce them where we really need to.”

Police are also urging people not to start fires or use disposable barbecues in the open, as they continue to tackle wildfires on the moors in Lancashire.

Insp Dixon added: “Safety at this time of year is vital and we want to be clear that we will investigate if we believe fires have been started deliberately. We’d urge people to heed the fire service’s messages and spare a thought for the people who live near the affected areas and also the firefighters who are working round the clock to tackle these blazes.

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"Please never set campfires or use disposal barbecues outside – the risks at this time of year are just to great and it only takes one stray spark to cause a huge fire.

“Let’s all work together to stay safe and enjoy the warm weather, taking care of friends and family whilst maintaining the two metres social distancing from those you don’t live with.”

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