Parents warned over safety near waterways

Orlagh Crozier and Olivia Price calling on young people to stay safe.
Orlagh Crozier and Olivia Price calling on young people to stay safe.

N.I. Water has issued a call to local parents to remain alert over the dangers of children playing near local waterways.

The warning following a number of serious incidents over recent years, including several tragedies in which young people from the north west have lost their lives.

Parents have been warned that there are dangers for young people around treatment works, reservoirs, quarries and construction sites.

Michael Bergin, Health and Safety Manager at N.I. Water, said: “Understandably, natural curiosity will draw children and young people to many of our sites. However, they are not playgrounds, and fooling around at or near them can have dangerous consequences. I would urge all parents to explain to their children the dangers of playing in or around these areas. The remoteness of many of our sites could hamper and delay rescue attempts, should such a need arise.”

Mr Bergin also encouraged parents to highlight the dangers of reservoirs. He said: “Calm water can look very inviting, especially during warm weather, but there are many dangers associated with it, like low temperatures, deep water, and the potential for becoming trapped.

“The temperatures in reservoirs are extremely low even on warm days and could cause the onset of hypothermia at a very early stage, making it very easy for even the strongest of swimmers to get into trouble.

“In relation to this, we are very pleased to be working with the Quarry Products Association NI again this year to highlight the dangers of open water bodies, especially reservoirs and quarries.”