Madness at the lagoon

FIVE years ago last Friday, an almost unspeakable tragedy happened. Three young children, who had been taken to the Blue Lagoon in Arlesey for a day out by their mother, plunged to their deaths in the deep, dangerous waters. The story made both the local

FIVE years ago last Friday, an almost unspeakable tragedy happened.

Three young children, who had been taken to the Blue Lagoon in Arlesey for a day out by their mother, plunged to their deaths in the deep, dangerous waters.

The story made both the local and national news and warnings came from all quarters to stay away from the lagoon.

Yet, despite this and another tragedy last year, when Luton man Winston Jones died after diving off a boat on the lagoon, this year people are once again flocking to swim at the very same beauty spot.

The stupidity of these people is astounding.

The Blue Lagoon, charming as it may be, is not a swimming pool.

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It is not even public land, so apart from anything else, anyone going near it is trespassing.

Moreover, they are swimming in water which shelves dramatically and at its deepest point it is 25ft.

On the bottom there is about 2ft of thick sludge with 3ft to 4ft of thin weed above it.

It is clearly not a lido and should not be treated as such.

After all these years, there really is no excuse for thinking it is appropriate to go for a jolly day out there.

What really gets to me is that these swimmers are not only endangering themselves, but potentially others as well.

In both of the major incidents which have occurred there in recent times, the emergency services have had to risk their lives to try to save others.

When the three children died in 2001, six firefighters dived down wearing breathing apparatus to retrieve the youngsters.

Last year paramedics dived into the water to try to find Winston Jones.

I'm sure all concerned would do it again to try and save lives but should they really be expected to?

If there is an incident this year it would be impossible to regard it as an accident - it would be an act of stupid recklessness.

There have been ample warnings of the dangers to be found at the lagoon and no one can plead ignorance to the hazard of going for a dip there.

Why should members of the emergency services have to go above and beyond the call of duty to try to save some idiot who has ignored both the law and safety advice?

There are open air pools in both Hitchin and Letchworth GC which, correct me if I'm wrong, offer pretty much the same facilities as the lagoon - water, sunshine and fresh air - but are much, much safer for all concerned.

If you fancy a swim, do yourselves and our busy emergency services a favour and try visiting one of those instead - and stay away from the Blue Lagoon.

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