Man swims in Buxton’s toxic Blue Lagoon after water is dyed black – then shouts abuse at official who warns him of dangers

A man swam in Buxton’s so-called Blue Lagoon after its toxic water was dyed black – and shouted abuse at an official who tried to warn him of the dangers of what he was doing.

By Michael Broomhead
Saturday, 30th May 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 12:40 pm

The cold water at the disused quarry pool at Harpur Hill is nearly as toxic as bleach – and dead animals and old vehicles are among the dangerous things which lie below the surface.

Last weekend, more than 2,000 people descended on the site – and now High Peak Borough Council, Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service have joined forces to try and stop people from visiting.

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Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service took this picture of a man swimming in the toxic water at the disused quarry.

They have again dyed the water black to make it less attractive, erected more signs to warn people of the dangers of entering the site and put ‘no waiting’ cones on local roads to stop people parking on them.

On Friday night, after the water was dyed black, the fire service took pictures of a man swimming in the pool.

A spokesperson for the fire service said: “Our officer – who could be called to save his life if he got into difficulty – received abuse when trying to warn him of danger.”

Jean Todd, the borough council’s executive councillor for the environment and community safety, said: “Last weekend a significant number of people visited the quarry and this caused a number of issues for local residents.

Measures have been taken to try and put people off visiting the site.

“This is unacceptable and, together with our partners, we’re working to put in place measures to try and avoid a repeat this weekend.

“We know that parking was a particular issue so PCSOs will be patrolling the area to support local residents and we’ll be putting out ‘no waiting’ cones to deter visitors.

“We do understand the frustrations caused by the inconsiderate behaviour of people visiting the area and, through the partnership, we will continue to work together to keep this under review and to consider both short and longer-term options to address these issues.”

Sergeant Adam Harrison, of Derbyshire Constabulary, said: “The current situation is understandably causing great concern to people in the Harpur Hill area and, while we are encouraging people not to enter the site, I would also ask that residents allow all the agencies to play their part and not to engage with people visiting the site.”

Paul Hawker, group manager with the fire service, added: “By swimming or even playing in or close to any water you are putting your life at risk.

“Open water remains cold no matter how hot the weather is.

“This means your body can quickly go into cold water shock causing your heart rate to quicken, you start to gasp for breath and you can quickly become confused and disoriented meaning the chances of drowning increase dramatically even for the strongest of swimmers.

“In addition, the water at the quarry is similar in PH value to bleach with many additional hidden dangers below.

“The quarry is not a place to swim and it is certainly not a tourist attraction that anyone should be visiting.”Our message is quite clear – stay away and stay safe.”