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Holiday alert over quarries; WATER SAFETY: Bosses are anxious to avoid another tragedy.

Byline: By Steve Evans

QUARRY bosses across Warwickshire are warning parents to be vigilant if the weather hots up this bank holiday weekend.

They fear that warm weather could lead to children being exposed to unseen dangers and misadventure in Warwickshire's quarries.

With nine active quarries helping to produce 1.9 million tonnes of aggregates a year in Warwickshire, the county is in the front line as the Quarry Products Association launches its Play Safe - Stay Safe campaign.

Last June, nine-year-old Nuneaton boy Owen Day drowned while fishing with two pals at a balancing lake off Queen Elizabeth Road, Camp Hill, Nuneaton.

His death happened just 24 hours after safety experts in Warwickshire had warned people of the dangers of summer bathing in quarries, rivers and canals.

Tragic Owen, who lived in Hillcrest Road, Camp Hill, was "fishing-mad" and drowned after trying to recover a piece of fishing equipment from the water.

Although Owen was fishing in a public place, quarry owners in Warwickshire want to make sure that other children do not stray on to private land in search of half-term adventure.

Lynda Thompson, chairman of the Quarry Products Association, said: "Whilst quarries are safe places for work and have a vital role in our world, they are not playgrounds.

"We rely on parents and teachers to support us in delivering that essential message."

She said three-quarters of quarries in the West Midlands had experienced trespass problems in the last two years.

There are three quarries in Nuneaton - the disused former Midland Quarry in Tuttle Hill; the Judkins Quarry on the other side of Tuttle Hill, and the quarry off Gipsy Lane. There are also quarries in the Hartshill area of the town. In the Rugby area, there is the Ling Hall Quarry at Lawford Heath and Newbold Quarry.

Mrs Thompson said: "We know from experience that warm weather is a particular factor in increased levels of trespass by both children and adults.

"It came as somewhat of a surprise that the over-25s were the most frequent trespassers. We would urge those adults to change their behaviour because children following this example could be exposed to unseen dangers.

"We are keen to ensure parents and teachers fully understand the dangers young people can face if they trespass on active or disused sites. One accident is one too many."

CAPTION(S):

TRAGIC SCENE... Floral tributes were left at the spot where Owen Day (above) died while out fishing last June.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 22, 2008
Words:410
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