'It could happen to anyone' - girlfriend of drowning victim speaks out

Maddie Goode with Radek Gina, who died after getting into difficulty at Bawsey Country Park

Maddie Goode with Radek Gina, who died after getting into difficulty at Bawsey Country Park - 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

Dozens were seen swimming at Bawsey Country Park over the weekend

Dozens were seen swimming at Bawsey Country Park over the weekend - Credit: Violet Cunningham

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.

Radek Gina

Floral tributes left for Radek Gina, from Wisbech, after he drowned at Bawsey Country Park - Credit: Chris Bishop

"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."

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While the flooded sand quarry may look inviting, temperatures plunge sharply in deeper areas.

Radek Gina, 20, has been named as the 20-year-old who drowned at Bawsey Pits on Wednesday, June 16.

Radek Gina, from Wisbech, died in June after getting into difficulty at Bawsey Country Park - Credit: Facebook

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. 

One of the warning signs at the big lake at Bawsey Pits Country Park where people are swimming and p

A warning sign at Bawsey Country Park telling people not to swim - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

"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. 

Dozens were seen swimming at Bawsey Country Park over the weekend

Dozens were seen swimming at Bawsey Country Park over the weekend - Credit: Archant

"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. 

Water Safety Campaign poster, for water safety awareness. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The EDP's 'Play it Safe' campaign poster - Credit: Denise Bradley


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