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Save lives this summer

With the start of the school summer holidays, I am writing to request your readers’ help in saving young peoples’ lives. In 2018, 263 people accidentally drowned in open water across the UK.

In many accidental drownings water temperature was a significant factor. Cold water shock is an involuntary gasp when one is suddenly plunged into cold water, this can result in the inhalation of water and drowning. Immersion in cold water also increases the heart rate, makes breathing more difficult and causes muscles to tire, dramatically impacting on one’s ability to swim.

After a long period of hot weather, many people assume that open water will be relatively warm. In reality, the water temperature of quarry lakes and reservoirs can be well below 15 degrees, the temperature at which cold water shock can occur.

These lakes can also be extremely deep, be difficult to exit and conceal a range of hazards such as pumps, entangling weeds, rocks and old machinery. Quarry faces and edges can be unstable and suddenly give way. Some quarry lakes have high alkalinity or are polluted which can lead to skin rashes, stomach upsets or poisoning.

The Mineral Products Association is supporting the water safety campaigns being run by the RNLI and other organisations such as the fire and rescue services. Collectively, we do not want to discourage members of the public from enjoying the water but would like people to be aware of the risks and choose to swim in areas that are safe.

Eight people drowned in quarry lakes in 2018, the majority of these were young males in disused quarries. Please help to raise awareness of these safety messages particularly if you have children or teenagers who may be visiting or swimming in a former quarry.

To find out more, view the campaign Facebook page Stay Safe Stay out of Quarries or the RNLI website The RNLI’s Float to Live campaign highlights how this simple technique can be lifesaving if one is in difficulty in water. Please share these messages which will help prevent drownings and remember that warning signs and fences are there to help protect you.

Elizabeth Clements, Mineral Products Association

Hypocrisy in protest

Howard March has responded to my letter about the Extinction Rebellion and pointed out how difficult it is to get the message across to their MPs!

I totally agree, but the point of my letter was that there needs to be a better way of getting a message across without inconveniencing so many people going about their daily business! “Oh we’ve tried all that.” That to me is still no excuse, even when they said they were sorry for preventing a gentleman from getting to his dying father. If it was one of their family, they would probably say, “I am sorry you passed away without your family there but we were too busy protesting”! I make no excuses at all for condemning the protest and the way it was initiated and progressed and it was my personal view!

That can be agreed with or not, it doesn’t bother me. But what bothers me is, how do those protesters get to Bristol and back from home? Ride their bikes, walk, drive their cars etc, and then go back to their homes or tents in their cars, buses or trains at their disposal to their centrally heated homes with plastics around that emit CO2, plus other home comforts that they are thankful for that are not as user friendly as some people think!

I wonder how many of them drive to work, away on holiday or fly out to the sun?

My name for them, Polluting Protesters! There is pollution in almost everything we use.

Chris Gleed, Proud Close, Purton

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