Mum of teenager who died in Chorley quarry keeps pressure on Government over water safety

Beckie Ramsay, who lost her son Dylan in 2011.

Whenever there is a spell of hot weather, Beckie Ramsay's heart sinks because she knows another family will start on the same heartbreaking journey she began on July 3, 2011.

That was when her son Dylan, 13, a fit and strong swimmer, went to cool down in Hilltop Quarry in Whittle-le-Woods close to his home in Chorley, but didn't come home.

Within three minutes of him going in the water he had died, after suffering cold water shock.

Dylan's mum Beckie says she wakes up every morning yearning for her son. Credit: Family photo

This week another family is embarking on a future without their child, after the death of a 15-year-old girl who got into difficulty in Carr Mill Dam in St Helens.

Kirsty Madden said her daughter Erin was "capable of anything" and had her "whole life ahead of her" before her death on Thursday, 2 June.

Erin was swimming with her friends in Carr Mill Dam when she got into distress in the water at around noon. Her body was found by emergency services hours later.

Emergency services found the teenager's body in Carr Mill Dam hours after she disappeared. Credit: ITV News

Beckie says whenever she hears about deaths like this she just "wants to throw her arms round the mum and, not tell them that it's going to be ok, because you can't do that, but just to tell her she's not alone."

Ever since Dylan's death Beckie has been campaigning for water safety and drowning prevention to be put on the National Curriculum, securing 108,000 signatures on an e-petition.

She spends time traveling the country to deliver her message about Dylan to schools, colleges, emergency services and workplaces.

Beckie delivers her message and Dylan's story to colleges and schools across the country, this video by Granada Reports journalist Claire Hannah

Beckie even had a meeting scheduled with one time Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who left that position weeks before the meeting was supposed to take place, in a government reshuffle.

Since then she says the Government has been silent on her calls for change.

She has set up a charity in Dylan's name to raise awareness, but says she won't stop doing what she does until the Government takes action.

Figures show since Dylan's death in 2011, more than 7,200 people have drowned in open water, yet even though many schools teach swimming and touch on water safety, there is still no in-depth education on drowning prevention.

Beckie said: "We are teaching our children just enough to kill themselves, because we are teaching them how to swim, and arming them with a false sense of security of thinking they're ok to swim in a local river or quarry, lake, reservoir, whatever it may be, because they've had five swimming lessons or whatever, it's not enough."

A spokesperson from the Department of Education has previously said: "Water safety is an essential life skill, which is why we have made it a mandatory part of the curriculum for Physical Education at primary school and are continuing to work closely with a number of organisations to ensure that every child is taught how to swim safely."

But, Beckie maintains that is not enough, and says with more warm weather on the way, she will continue to spread her message.

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