Warning after quarry rescue

Darrington Quarry
Darrington Quarry

A TERRIFIED girl was rescued by quick-thinking firefighters after getting stranded on an island at a Knottingley quarry.

The 11-year-old, from Knottingley, became stuck after swimming out to the island while playing in the pit – owned by Darrington Quarries – at around 1.30pm last Wednesday.

Worried friends called for help when the shivering youngster was too tired to swim back to land.

Firefighters from Knottingley were the first to arrive at the scene and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance was scrambled.

John Lloyd, watch manager at Knottingley fire station, said: “The girl was extremely lucky she wasn’t hurt and this didn’t end in tragedy.

“Quarries are dangerous and we would urge young people to stay away.”

Firefighters struggled to find the scene after receiving reports the youngster was trapped in the quarry.

Mr Lloyd said: “When we got there we couldn’t find the incident and no-one seemed to know anything about it. It’s a big site so staff at Darrington Quarries helped us search the area.

“When we found it we saw the girl was stuck on an island in the quarry. She swam out while playing at the site but was too tired to swim back.

“She was extremely cold and frightened and we called for assistance from a specialist unit in Brighouse. They brought a boat and firefighters were able to get out to the island to bring her back to land.”

The girl – who was freezing, wet and tired – was checked over by paramedics and did not require hospital treatment.

Mr Lloyd added: “The air ambulance had also been called to reports that a young girl had drowned in the quarry, so there was a lot of confusion.

“The air crew would have been able to get her, but she was too frightened and didn’t want to go with them.

“Once we brought her back to land she was checked over by land ambulance staff and given the all clear.”

Another youngster was rescued from a flooded quarry between Knottingley and Darrington in July 2006.

Deaf Castleford High School pupil Michael Morton, then 14, dived into the quarry to save nine-year-old Bradley Richardson, of Knottingley.

The teenager was later awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Testimonial on vellum for his bravery.

Mr Lloyd urged young people to stay away from the quarry site.

He said: “The water may look tempting but it’s very dangerous – there could be hidden dangers beneath the surface.

“The girl was very lucky she was with friends who were able to call for help and that we were able to get to her.”

Knottingley Coun Graham Stokes said he was not aware of children playing in the quarry but said it was important for youngsters to stay safe. He added: “If young people want to go swimming they should go to Knottingley swimming baths. It is important children stay away from the quarry.”

No-one from Darrington Quarries was available for comment.