Quarry death 'inevitable' says safety campaigners - The Stratford Observer
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14th Aug, 2022

Quarry death 'inevitable' says safety campaigners

THE DEATH of a teenager at a disused quarry was ‘inevitable’ say owners of a neighbouring fishing business who have long campaigned for safety measures.

Luke Murphy from Daventry, got into difficulties while swimming at the Blue Pool in Bishops Itchington last week. His body was recovered the following day.

The owners of Bishops Bowl Fishery, which operate in the two adjoining lakes at the 90 acre former limestone quarry, say the Blue Pool was an ‘accident waiting to happen’ and have been calling for safety measures to be put in place for the past decade.

The Smart family, which runs the fishing business, say staff regularly warn people to stop swimming in the Blue Pool and urge anglers to tell them when they see youngsters going for a dip.

Signs warning ‘No Diving’ and ‘No Swimming’ are placed around the pool – owned by a London-based company called Follett Property Holding Ltd – but they have not stopped people swimming.

Across the UK several people have died swimming in open water during the heatwave.

A spokesman for the Smart family said: “This tragedy was inevitable. We are heartbroken but nothing was done to prevent this. We have endlessly tried to stop these kids swimming here.

“Depths in disused quarries are horrendous and the unknown temperatures and equipment that lies beneath is absolutely lethal. We shall also keep up our vigilance of turning away swimmers that regularly try to swim. With this heat and the summer holidays we expect a lot more kids to turn up.

“We have been doing everything to try to manage and stop the kids swimming there.

“Staff will continue to warn anybody of the dangers, as we have done for the last nine years.

“We shall continue to fight for this pool to be managed.”

Follett Property Holdings says it will be working to assist authorities while investigations were carried out.

A spokesman said: “We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of a teenager at the Blue Pool and wish to extend our heartfelt and sincerest sympathies to his family. Our thoughts are with them.

“The authorities are now looking into this dreadful tragedy, and we will, of course, be co-operating fully with their investigation.”

Floral tributes were left next to the pool this week.

One was from his grief-stricken parents which read: “Luke, our darling son, you will be dearly missed. Shine bright. We love you lots.”

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