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Police warn quarry swimmers they may face arrest

Malvern Editorial 3rd Feb, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

POLICE have reiterated calls for visitors to Gullet Quarry to take responsibility for their own safety but warned those who continually broke the anti-swimming law could be prosecuted.

Insp Steph Brighton of Malvern Hills Safer Neighbourhood Team, said officers would meet with the Conservators which owned the land, ahead of the summer and would step up patrols at the beauty spot when there was warm weather.

It comes after RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) called on the force to offer greater support at the site following two tragic deaths last year.

Insp Brighton said officer presence would be increased but confirmed police attendance could not be continuous and would depend on the resources available at any given time.

She said those swimming at the quarry in breach of the Conservators’ bye law would be dealt with proportionately depending on the circumstances.

Offenders could be given strong advice or have their names and addresses passed on to the Conservators who may wish to prosecute – a move Inps Brighton confirmed the police would support.

“We do not want to appear heavy-handed about it.

“This is about helping to protect and save lives while recognising that people also have a responsibility for their own safety.

“The by-law was introduced to protect people from the dangers of going into the water and that’s why we have been repeating appeals for people to refrain from doing so.

“The consequences of ignoring that are all too plainly illustrated by the tragic deaths of two people in the prime of their lives and we want to avoid any more families going through the same pain and heartache.”

Police have also reinforced the findings of the RoSPA report which highlighted the hidden danger of cold temperatures in the lake.

“It is a misconception these tragedies usually involve people drowning because they are poor swimmers.

“The shock of sudden cold water immersion or inhalation can cause instant death due to a condition known as vagal inhibition or ‘reflex cardiac arrest’.

“This has been attributed as the cause of previous cold water deaths and can affect even the strongest of swimmers and the fittest of people.

“Even on a hot day the water can be extremely cold, leading to the onset of cramp.”

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