With Derbyshire experiencing hot weather in recent days, some might be tempted to take a dip to cool off. Residents are being warned, however, of the potentially fatal consequences of swimming in the county’s disused quarries.
Police in Bolsover have received several reports of youths swimming in Steetley Quarry, who were taken home to their parents by officers.
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Two years ago, water at the quarry was dyed black in a bid to deter potential swimmers. Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service have also revealed that the water at the quarry is similar in PH value to bleach, with many hidden dangers below the surface – including dead animals and wrecked vehicles.
Police Sergeant Iwan Matheson of High Peak, Derbyshire Constabulary, warned swimmers against venturing to sites such as Harpur Hill. He said: “As we bask in hot weather in the coming days and weeks we understand that swimming in open water, such as disused quarries, may seem an appealing idea to some.
“However, it carries significant dangers from cold-water shock, hazards under the water and pollution, all which could result in serious injury or even death.
“As always, we urge the public to keep out of these areas of water for their own safety and we are also asking parents to educate their children and young people of the dangers of swimming in quarries. Many quarries are also found on private land, meaning that individuals present may be subject to fines for trespass.”
High Peak Borough Council also confirmed that they would be working alongside the emergency services to stop swimmers putting their lives at risk.
A HPBC spokesperson said: “We’re working closely with the Police and Fire and Rescue Service as part of the Derbyshire Community Partnership to actively discourage people from swimming in any of the disused quarries in High Peak and to promote water safety throughout our communities.
“There are a number of potential dangers which pose a risk to life when seeking out these areas not limited to cold water shock, unknown debris under the water and high levels of toxicity which can serious irritation to skin. We encourage people to think about their safety and keep away from these areas.”