Mum makes an emotional return to Chorley quarry where her son drowned nine years ago

The mother of a teenaged son made an emotional return to the quarry in which he drowned for the first time in years today.

By Gordon Mccully
Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 3:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 4:50 pm

Beckie Ramsay was taking part in filming with Lancashire Police to help warn of the dangers of swimming in places such as quarries and other open water locations.

Her son Dylan, 13, drowned while swimming with friends in Hill Top Quarry, Whittle-le-Woods, in 2011.

Water safety campaigner Beckie, 40, was joined for the filming by PC Christian Seddon, who was one of the first officers on the scene of the tragedy.

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Beckie Ramsay with PC Christian Seddon at the quarry

Mum-of-four Beckie said: "This is the first time I've actually been down to the water in probably seven years plus.

"It's very emotional. I've been very apprehensive about it."

PC Seddon administered CPR to Dylan and Beckie said: "I didn't know if I wanted to hit him for not saving my son's life - or hug him for doing his hardest."

The memory of that day has never left the police officer and Beckie, understanding his mental pain, added: "I want to hug him and say I'm sorry for what my son did that day that has affected his life."

Beckie Ramsay

Beckie, who received a British Empire Medal last year for services to the Prevention of Water Related Accidents, said: "It's time to put more into preventing these fatalities.

"What will it take for the Government to do something where water safety is concerned.

"I've spoken to about 150,000 people since losing Dylan. Two weeks after his death I went in to the first school.

"People have based degrees around it."

Floral tributes at the entrance to the quarry

Last May Beckie met Prince William at the launch of the Safer Thames campaign.

She added: "One of my main messages is 'my son died so your sons and daughters don't have to.'

"I use Dylan's death to try and prevent other people from losing their lives."

She said a host of people needed to be involved, including quarry and reservoir owners, to make their properties safer and more secure.

Mum Beckie Ramsay with pictures of her son Dylan

She said a life ring at Hill Top Quarry may have helped to save Dylan's life.

"I believe there were twenty plus people in this quarry a couple of weeks ago. That's why they have started this campaign," said Beckie.

"They think they're indestructible, it's not going to happen to them."

Beckie said Dylan's death had impacted on the whole family, including her daughter.

"She has a real guilt she doesn't remember Dylan - it's not her fault because she was only four."

She said: "Dylan's at home. He was cremated. I don't feel the need to come here all the time."

PC Seddon was one of three officers who attended the incident in 2011.

He said: "We saw Dylan on an island in the water with somebody. We've had to jump to the island which has ended up with us in the water.

"I remember it being absolutely freezing cold."

He added: "I think about it most days. I'm neighbourhood officer for this area and last week was the first time since it happened that I've actually been here.

"As a father myself it's something you don't want to see every day. But unfortunately it's part of your job."

Local sergeant Paul Harrison said police were working with the council and landowners to introduce measures such as protection orders and the introduction of on the spot fines for parents and people over the age of 18.

"That's something in its infancy, so to speak," he said, "with the council, something we're looking into."

He added: "It's really difficult because it's kids at the end of the day. They will come and want to have fun and don't understand the dangers of open water and cold and water shock."

He said awareness sessions for local clubs and youth groups were important in getting the safety message across.

"We do a lot of work with Inspire, as well in the town.

"It's just about pounding the message across, working with the land owners at security measures - and United Utilities in areas like Rivington to see what preventative measures we can put in place.

"I think peer pressure is part of the problem if there are twelve kids and one doesn't want to ump in, that could be the one that doesn't survive."