Drowning tragedy: tragic teen’s family spread safety message

Andrew Ackroyd, Mel Goodship, Emlyn Parry and Chris Walton at Park High School in Colne where Lancashire Fire and Rescue were presenting its "Dying for a Dip" water safety campaign to pupils. (S)
Andrew Ackroyd, Mel Goodship, Emlyn Parry and Chris Walton at Park High School in Colne where Lancashire Fire and Rescue were presenting its "Dying for a Dip" water safety campaign to pupils. (S)

Park High School pupils have been hearing from the family of former student James Goodship and how his tragic death has affected them.

The family were speaking at the Colne school to Year 11 pupils as part of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s “Dying for a Dip” water safety education campaign.

Since James lost his life while swimming in Burwain Lake, Foulridge, on June 22nd last year, his family have been working closely with the fire service to raise awareness of the dangers of entering and swimming in open water.

This work has included James’s family and friends recording emotional videos about what happened on the day, and visits to schools to help educate students and hopefully reduce the risk of similar tragedies occurring.

Mrs Goodship said: “It was important to me to be at Park High for the presentation. The feedback I have received from some of the pupils made it even more worthwhile.

“The more coverage the campaign gets, the more people it will reach and hopefully prevent a similar thing happening again.”

The more coverage the campaign gets, the more people it will reach and hopefully prevent a similar thing happening again

James’s mum

VIDEO: Heartfelt plea fromfamily of James Goodship

Emlyn Parry, James’s stepfather, and Jack Parry, James’s step brother and current Park High School student, also spoke about how James’s death has affected them individually.

Chris Walton, from Nelson Fire and Rescue Service, accompanied the family and students were given practical demonstrations of equipment used in water-based rescues.

Andrew Ackroyd, Personal Development coordinator, said: “The tragic scenario in which James died has had a great impact on students at Park High School. James was friends with many of our current and former students. We are extremely grateful to James’s family and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service for coming in to school to speak to, and work with, our students, in order to educate them about the dangers of entering unknown water.”

Four hundred people in the UK die every year from drowning and it is the third most common cause of death among young people aged between 10 and 18. These casualties are more likely to be male.

The “Dying for a Dip” campaign is aimed at teens and young adults and is currently being delivered in secondary schools, with the potential for community and youth groups in the future.

PHOTOS: Memorial marks tragic James’s 18th birthday

It contains information about the effects of cold water on the body, the hidden dangers of water, tombstoning, seaside safety, and what to do if you see someone struggling in water. More information can be found at www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk/2015/04/dying-for-a-dip-water-safety-campaign/