Lake tragedy brings back heartbreak for mother
A water safety campaigner whose son died in a hot weather swimming accident is fronting a regional campaign to keep youngsters safe.
Beckie Ramsay has relentlessly campaigned about the dangers of outdoor swimming since her son Dylan Ramsay, 13, got into difficulty while swimming at Hill Top Quarry, in Whittle-le-Woods, near Chorley in July 2011.
Despite being a strong swimmer, the cold water on a hot summer day proved fatal.
Beckie, 34, has been working to promote water safety by visiting schools giving talks about the dangers and has launched the Doing It For Dylan campaign in his memory.
However, a stark reminder of the dangers was shown at the weekend when Colne teenager James Goodship, 17 drowned at the weekend near his home.
Beckie, of Church Hill, Whittle-le-Woods, said: “I was heartbroken to hear about James. I know only too well the despair and anguish that his parents, siblings and friends will feel.
“Youngsters swimming in unsupervised water are putting themselves at risk of death every single time.
“I would encourage all parents too spend five or 10 minutes with their children. Explaining the dangers of water and how it could prove fatal however warm it seems.”
Beckie is supporting United Utilities’ water safety awareness packs for schools with her emotional film, Dylan’s Story, in which she remembers her son and the day he died.
Beckie is also supporting Drowning Prevention Week 2014, which runs until Sunday.
The launch of the awareness week was marred with the accidental death of 17-year-old James Goodship from Colne.
He went missing on Sunday at Lake Burwain in Foulridge in similar circumstances to Dylan.
She said: “It was hard doing the interview for the film, it always will be. But if hearing about Dylan’s death means that one less young person will be tempted to go into the water this summer, then it’s worth it.
“I would sum up the message that parents should give to their kids in four words. ‘No lifeguard, no swimming’.”
The resource pack, which is available online, includes three videos ‘Not A Game’, ‘A Cold That Can Kill’ and ‘Dylan’s Story’.
They cover the theory, medical facts and real life impact of reservoir danger.
Schools or community groups can download their water safety resource pack from www.unitedutilities.com/reservoir-safety.