Staff demoralised after swimming continues at Bawsey Pits

One of the defaced signs at Bawsey
One of the defaced signs at Bawsey

Daily reports of people swimming in Bawsey Pits, despite last year’s double tragedy, is leaving quarry staff “demoralised”.

Sibelco workers have been warning visitors to the country park of the dangers of swimming in the lakes but have been told “we don’t care”.

Ryan Pettengell, 41, of Lynn, and 16-year-old Umar Balogun both drowned in separate accidents at Bawsey on July 16 last year.

The site has come in for vandalism with safety signs being defaced along with other anti-social behaviour.

Now the firm is again asking people to stay out of the water.

A company spokesman said: “Staff are really quite demoralised and don’t know what to do next. It is a really worrying situation and we can’t seem to persuade people to stay out of the water. Some people have said they don’t care if someone drowned there - how can you counter that?”

Resources director Gary Stringer is calling for people to stay out of the water and respect the site.

In a letter he said: “It is with considerable alarm that we learn of people continuing to enter the water at Bawsey.

“It is also disheartening that safety signs have again been attacked by vandals and that the site is being used as an open toilet.”

He said the firm will ensure that the damage is repaired and that the site will be monitored as operation commitments allow but his team cannot “police” the park. Work has started on finding a long term solution for the site.