'It could happen to anyone' - girlfriend of drowning victim speaks out
- Credit: Maddie Goode
The girlfriend of a young man who drowned at Bawsey Country Park has questioned how many more tragedies it will take before significant safety improvements are made.
Maddie Goode was at the west Norfolk beauty spot with Radek Gina last month when he got into difficulty in one of the lakes.
Despite the efforts of emergency services, the 20-year-old from Wisbech was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Gina was the fourth person to die at the park, also known as Bawsey Pits, in a decade - despite swimming being banned.
His death has triggered yet more calls for better safety measures, including from his family after dozens were seen in the water over the weekend.
And now Miss Goode has bravely spoken of her desperation for visitors to stop taking unnecessary risks.
"The last month has been really hard," she said. "Slowly but surely I am getting there.
"It's not nice at all seeing people swimming at Bawsey because it makes me worry about someone else's family.
"Anyone who swims is encouraging others to do it. When you see others go in, it makes you tempted.
"That's what happened to us. We went to have a have a look and dip out feet in, and look what happened to Radek."
- 1 One arrest and cars seized on busy day for cops
- 2 Cambridgeshire's Enhanced Area Status extended amid Covid surge in schools
- 3 Thief will spend Christmas in prison after breaching court order
- 4 Cinderella makes a comeback thanks to Players' Christmas pantomime
- 5 Mother pays tribute to “much-loved” son who died near Fen Drayton
- 6 Robber attempts to steal scratch card and alcohol from convenience store
- 7 Council's plea to protect East Cambs from Covid-19 this Christmas
- 8 Items from Lidl and Sainsbury's recalled over health and safety concerns
- 9 Woman wins right to build annexe to home
- 10 Dental practice plan move to business park
While the flooded sand quarry may look inviting, temperatures plunge sharply in deeper areas.
Swimmers are therefore in danger of suffering cold water shock, while several hidden obstacles lie beneath the surface.
Bawsey Country Park said it maintains its existing policy of "no swimming, no paddling", and would continue to promote water safety through its 'Our Stay Safe Summer' campaign.
But Miss Goode, who also lives in Wisbech, believes it is not enough.
"Something needs to change because it has torn Radek's family and friends apart," she added.
"The worst part is that it was just so unexpected, and could happen to anyone.
"I don't think shutting it down is the answer, but maybe putting soil over the sand to put people off going near the water.
"It shouldn't take more deaths for something to be done."
The EDP has launched its own campaign, 'Play it Safe', which urges people to enjoy the county's waterways safely.
Visit norfolkstore.co.uk to order a free poster.