Causeway Chronicle

Stay out, stay alive: Council issues warning over quarry swimming

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is reminding residents and visitors of the dangers of swimming in quarries.   

While it may look inviting, quarry water is much colder than rivers, lakes or the sea. Due to the depth of many quarries, the water originates from deep underground and is extremely cold. While the water’s edge may seem warm, as you move out to greater depths, the sudden drop in temperature can quickly lead to drowning.

Within a few minutes, cold shock can set in. This can result in uncontrollable gasping, which can quickly affect your breathing, heart rate and body’s metabolism. Poor circulation causes stiff fingers, lack of co-ordination and loss of motor skills and power. Even for accomplished swimmers these conditions make swimming to safety or climbing out of the water no longer physically possible. 

There may be unseen, physical dangers in the water as well such as sharp rocks, submerged wire, dead animals and industrial pollution. 

Other hazards in quarries include falls from sheer faces, landslides and rocks falling from quarry faces, abandoned machinery, silt ponds, quicksand and spoil heaps. 

Quarries – particularly abandoned and disused ones – are dangerous places, so the message is simple:

Stay out and stay alive!

For more information go to www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/staying-safe-around-quarries

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Maurice Bradley