Stark warning as 40 youths found drinking alcohol and swimming in quarry

Police have issued a stark warning after a group of 40 youths were found drinking alcohol and swimming in a quarry.

Friday, 26th June 2020, 11:45 am

Officers were called to a quarry near Great Heck in Selby on Wednesday, June 24.

There they had to disperse a group of 40 young people who had been under the influence of alcohol and had been entering the deep and cold water.

PC Dave White, of the Safer Selby Hub, said: “While this may seem like good fun, the young people involved are placing themselves in serious danger by entering the water-filled quarries in the Selby District and elsewhere.

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Police have issued a stark warning after a group of 40 youths were found drinking alcohol and swimming in a quarry. Photo: Bruce Rollinson

“Should someone be injured when jumping in or getting into grave difficulties while swimming, the lives of the emergency service teams are also put at risk from this foolish behaviour.

“We urge young people to be sensible and avoid these areas completely.

“We also ask parents and carers to raise this issue and warn young people about the dangers involved.”

On Thursday, June 25, emergency services were alerted to Thomason Foss near Goathland after a 22-year-old man from Yarm suffered serious injuries when he jumped into the water.

He was taken to hospital by air ambulance.

These incidents follow the tragic death of 25-year-old Lewis Howlett, who died after going swimming in a stretch of the River Aire off Redcote Lane in Kirkstall.

The Farnley Academy teacher went missing at 8.30pm on Saturday, May 30 and his body was recovered from the water in the early hours of Sunday.

In the same weekend, a young girl had to be rescued from a reservoir in Tingley after going swimming.

She was taken to hospital but had no serious injuries.

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Alcohol and bathing

Alcohol causes loss of coordination and slows reaction times, as well as reducing the body’s core temperature and increasing the susceptibility to cold.

Temperature shock

Even during warm weather, temperatures in open waters are dangerously low. This can affect even strong swimmers, causing loss of strength and muscle coordination. Prolonged exposure to cold can cause hypothermia, inducing mental confusion and irrational behaviour.

Waterborne diseases

Open water used by animals can carry diseases such as Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease), which has flu-like symptoms and can be fatal.

Submerged dangers

Murky or fast-flowing water can conceal hazards such as rocks or discarded rubbish. Jumping in can be deadly.


Underwater plants can wrap around bathers, leading to breathing difficulties and panic.

Water currents

The water may look calm on the surface, but there can be strong undercurrents that could pull even a strong swimmer under the water.

Just 15cm of fast flowing water can knock an adult off their feet. Deeper water with fast currents is extremely hazardous.

Bathers are advised to:

Only use venues designed for open-air bathing

Pay attention to all warning signs

Never let older children swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds

Never interfere with lifesaving equipment – you might need it yourself

If you see someone in difficulty:

Shout for help and dial 999 and ask for the Fire Service at inland water sites or the Coast Guard if you’re at the beach

Reach with a long stick, a scarf, clothes or anything else. Crouch or lie down to avoid being pulled in

Throw, a rope is best – you can then pull in the person. Otherwise throw something that will float – a ball, a plastic bottle or a lifebuoy

Do not jump in to try to save them

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