DAERA Minister Edwin Poots has relaunched his Department’s Stone Cold Killer campaign and issued a warning to the general public about the dangers of swimming in disused quarries.
The move comes after a series of reports about individuals swimming in local quarries which are known to have taken the lives of a number of young people.
Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Edwin Poots MLA said: “It is desperately sad to hear of the tragic loss of young people in these dangerous quarries and I want to prevent further avoidable loss of life. As the weather improves, and with schools and some leisure facilities largely remaining closed, I am concerned there is an increased risk of deaths in disused quarries this year. For this reason I am asking parents to talk to their children about where they are going, and warn them of the dangers associated with visiting such sites.
“I too, am a parent and appreciate the difficulties that many families across Northern Ireland are experiencing at the present time, but I urge you all to raise this issue with your children and teenagers. Quarries are not playgrounds. Quarry lakes in particular pose considerable risk as they are often much colder than rivers, lakes and reservoirs as they can be fed by water sources that originate deep underground. A sudden plunge into cold water initiates a gasp response, which can cause drowning within seconds.
“Quarry water really is a stone cold killer. My message is clear. Stay out. Stay alive.”