800 sign in 24 hours to close lake where Radek drowned
- Credit: Facebook
A petition attracted 800 signatures in 24 hours to close the lake where a 20-year-old from Wisbech drowned.
It has been launched by family of Radek Gina who died at Bawsey Country Park, King’s Lynn, on June 16.
The family believe warning signs urging people not to swim there are “clearly not working.
“Radek was just 20 years old, out enjoying an afternoon with his friends in the sunshine.
“Radek and his friend were both in difficulty when some other friends realised and tried to help. They got his friend out and had to go back in for Radek.”
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The family says “they did manage to get Radek on the shore line, and the emergency services were called.
“And a passer-by who happened to be a paramedic started to do CPR.
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“It took emergency services more than 25 minutes to be able to get to the scene as the grounds are not suitable for emergency vehicles.
“There is a park warden but they were nowhere around at the time.”
Radek’s grandmother Dawn Cunningham urged her family to launch the petition.
Radek’s death is the fourth to happen at the country park in less than 10 years.
Mrs Cunningham said she wanted action to be taken to prevent possible deaths from happening in future.
“It’s not a nature reserve, but a hell hole and if I can save one more child, it would be worth doing,” she said.
Mrs Cunningham said she has already got the support of “lots of people” to close the lakes, where tributes have been paid to Mr Gina since his death.
She said: “It’s not a beach, it’s a pit. If they put mud around it, would people go in it then?”
In a statement, the country park said they have “worked tirelessly” to improve the site’s safety and pleaded with visitors to stay out of the water.
The statement said: “The owners and staff would like to offer their sincere condolences to the family and friends of the man who tragically lost his life at the park.
“We would also like to express our thanks and praise for all the emergency services who attended yesterday and worked tirelessly to deal with such an awful situation.”
The statement added: “Since we took on the park, we have worked closely with the relevant authorities including the police and the fire brigade in order to improve the safety of the park.
“The park rules, including the direction to stay out of the water, are clear all over the park, on our website and on our social media.
“We have greatly increased the safety signage around the park and ensured the signs are pictorial so that they are clear for visitors of all nationalities.
“Our warden, park staff and catering vendors have all recently received basic training with Norfolk Fire and Rescue services.
“Our warden patrols the site daily and advises people to stay out of the water, and all our refreshment vendors are supplied with throw ropes in case of an emergency.
“We have created and improved access routes within the park for emergency vehicles.”
The statement concluded: “The loss of this young man’s life is yet another tragedy.
“We remain committed to improving the park and promoting its safe usage so that it can remain a beautiful natural site for local people to use safely and enjoy for many years to come.
But we need our visitors to help us.
“We reiterate our plea for visitors to abide by the park rules and PLEASE STAY OUT OF THE WATER so that no future tragedies occur.”
Norfolk Police are investigating Radek’s death and an inquest will be opened once enquiries have been completed.
“He was such a lovely boy; he was always smiling,” Mrs Cunningham said.
“I’m aware of the deaths that have happened, but when it’s at your door, it hits home.
“I’m very confident action will be taken. I don’t think it should be shut down, but the lake should be closed to the public.”
To sign the petition, visit: https://bit.ly/2TSAN0d.