Sign a petition to teach water safety in schools

Ann Croston  with a picture of her son, Craig
Ann Croston with a picture of her son, Craig
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A WOMAN whose son drowned in a quarry is backing a petition launched by a mum who is campaigning for drowning prevention to be taught in schools.

Ann Croston, of Platt Bridge, says she fully supports Beckie Ramsay, of nearby Chorley, who calling for drowning prevention to be taught at an age appropriate level on the national curriculum.

Beckie Ramsay with photos of Dylan

Beckie Ramsay with photos of Dylan

Dylan Ramsay, 13, drowned after jumping into Hill Top Quarry in Whittle-le-Woods, in 2011, and following his death, Beckie has been raising awareness of water safety through her Doing It For Dylan campaign.

And last year, she set up the petition, which so far, has more than 1,800 signatures.

The Government will respond if Beckie gets 10,000 signatures in six months and if she gets 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Ann says she knows too well Beckie’s pain, as her 17-year-old Craig died at East Quarry, in Appley Bridge, in 1999.

I believe had my son known the dangers he like so many others would still be with us. Deaths in open water is the second cause of accidental death in the UK

Beckie Ramsay

She said: “I tried to do the same thing a few years ago and so I wish Beckie a lot of luck.

“I think it certainly should be taught in schools from an early age and hopefully it will prevent deaths.

“I have 11 grandchildren and I have drummed it into them from when they were babies because if what happened to Craig. But had his death not happened, I would not have thought to ensure my grandchildren are water aware and I am sure others would not think about it either. It is very important that children are aware from an early age.

“I want to prevent other families going through what we have.”

Last year, 13-year-old Miracle Godson, of Marsh Green, drowned in East Quarry and an inquest held earlier this month ruled it was accidental after owners Mainsprint Ltd did all they could to prevent access.

The coroner, Sian Jones said: “This must act as a warning as youngsters think they are immune and not aware of the shock of the cold. If they saw the distress of families, they may think twice.

“I can only encourage parents to teach their children to swim as that life skill in invaluable.”

Miracle’s dad, Godson Anumba, said he also supports the petition, saying he agrees better education is needed in schools.

Through the Doing it for Dylan campaign, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service had joined with the police to speak to schools about the dangers of swimming in open water.

Beckie hopes as many people as possible will support the petition. She said: “This petition is set up in memory of all those whose lives have been lost in open water. My son was a good swimmer but open water still took his life. I believe had my son known the dangers he like so many others would still be with us. Deaths in open water is the second cause of accidental death in the UK it is the third cause of accidental death in the world. Very often it’s not a person’s swimming ability that takes a person’s life. Often it is the dangers that are not known about cold water shock and the effects it can have on the human body. Children are taught to swim with very little knowledge of the difference between swimming in a pool and swimming in open water.”

To sign the petition visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/108490