Mum of teenager who died in Chorley quarry launches water safety petition to the government

The mother of a teenager who drowned in a Chorley quarry has launched a petition to the Government calling for better water safety education in schools.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 12:30 pm
Beckie Ramsay with pictures of her son Dylan

Campaigning Beckie Ramsay BEM has already received almost 14,000 signatures.

The 10th anniversary of the tragic death of her son Dylan is approaching this summer.

Dylan, 13, was swimming with two friends at water-filled Hill Top Quarry, Whittle-le-Woods, on Sunday, July 3, 2011.

Beckie Ramsay at the quarry where Dylan drowned

A strong swimmer, he was in the water for 20 minutes before getting into difficulty.

His devastated mother has campaigned ever since to warn people of the dangers of swimming in open water.

The online petition under the headline: "Increase curriculum content about water safety as part of swimming lessons" states:

"As a country we see many water-related fatalities every year. We see many more call outs to water related incidents. Throughout lockdown year our coastguards were tasked to almost double the call outs than in the previous year. Our children NEED to learn about Cold water shock & rip currents.

"I've been a water safety campaigner for nearly 10 years. In 2011 my 1st born son went for what he thought was an innocent swim, sadly it cost him his life.

"Life's never been the same.

"Many people lose their lives due to a slip, trip or fall. Runners, walkers & cyclists are all high-risk categories where drownings are concerned.

"I've tried & failed many times to get water safety on the national curriculum.

"The Government should review and enhance curriculum content on water safety, so schools are required to ensure that all children know about and know how to deal with issues such as cold water shock and rip currents.

"It will soon be the 10-year anniversary of Dylan’s death. I never want you to feel the pain I do."

The Government has pledged to respond to all petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures

At 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

All petitions run for six months, and the deadline for this one is September 9.

Beckie said she was "thrilled" the petition had already reached the 10,000 signature target and that she was now looking towards the 100,000 mark.

"It's taken a long time to get to this point," she said.

"Ultimately I want to sit round a table and have a conversation with those that make the decisions.

"It's about time the Government stepped up and did something."

She said there were tales of tragedy from all round the country about people losing their lives in open water and that the safety message needed to be sent out at an early age to young people in schools.

Beckie said a young woman, now in her 20s, had contacted her to recall how a friend's drowning tragedy when she was 11 had still affected her.

She said: "She's traumatised by it and I don't even think anyone has even thought about her.

"It's really tragic reading some of the stories, It's heartbreaking."

She continued: "I'm thrilled we've reached 10,000. We've come a long, long way, but still have so far to go.

"In the local area we're hammering it home, but it needs to be reached out bigger and wider.

"It needs to be on the National Curriculum - that's the only way we're going to take positive steps forward."

You can sign the petition by visiting https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/576563