Police in Armagh will be regularly patrolling local quarries over the coming months as it appears the message of dangers of drowning just is not getting through.
And the PSNI is advising parents in the area to warn their children about the dangers of playing in quarries.
In recent years there have been a number of tragedies where young lives have been lost at quarries.
Local officers are working with Environmental Health Officers in the council and with Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) to try to encourage people away from dangerous places where there is a very real danger of drowning in deep, cold water.
Chairman of the PCSP, Alderman Robert Smith advises against using quarries as recreational playgrounds, and supports local police in regularly patrolling of sites of concern in the Armagh area.
He said: “A quarry pit filled with water may seem like a fun place to swim on a hot day, but a few inches beneath the water the temperature plummets.
“Entering deep, cold water makes your body go into cold shock which can cause you to gasp and drown immediately or lead to hypothermia, making it very hard to breathe.
“The only way to be safe is not to go to these places to swim. Go to your local pool or a beach with lifeguards to cool off and have fun.”
Armagh Police Inspector Kieran Quinn is supporting this campaign to ‘Stay Out, Stay Alive’.
He commented: “Over the past number of years we have warned the local community about the dangers of ‘hanging out’, playing or swimming in quarries however it appears that our message is not getting through.
“We cannot stress enough how dangerous this activity is. Not only are those who illegally enter these areas breaking the law through incidents of trespass and criminal damage but they are also putting themselves at risk.
“Quarries are extremely dangerous sites with any number of hazards present. You should not be on the grounds of a quarry unless properly educated and equipped to deal with the dangers.
“I am asking parents to sit down and talk to their children to make them aware of the dangers and also to take the time to make sure you know where your children are and that, ultimately, they are safe.
“There is also an onus on quarry owners to ensure their sites are secure and display the proper signage in relation to trespassing.
“We will be conducting regular patrols of quarry sites over the summer months and we would also ask anyone who lives or works close to a quarry to report any suspicious activity to us on 101.”
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