THE mum of a teenager who died at Prestonhill Quarry near Inverkeithing made calls this week for a review to be carried out after every drowning.
Gillian Barclay spoke at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) annual Scottish conference which this year put water safety under the spotlight.
Her son, Cameron Lancaster, died in August 2014 at the age of 18 after carrying out an ‘ice bucket challenge.’
Inverkeithing High pupil Cameron and his family lived in Breakers Way, Dalgety Bay, for 14 years before moving to Burntisland just 10 weeks before he died.
Ten months after his death, the quarry also claimed the life of John McKay, also aged 18.
At the conference, Gillian talked about the impact of drowning on the families left behind and called for post-incident reviews to be carried out after every death.
“This doesn’t happen as a matter of course,” she told the Press. “I think the second drowning in the quarry at Inverkeithing could have been prevented had this been done after Cameron’s death.”
Gillian believes input from a wide range of community members is necessary to try to prevent further tragedies.
“If someone had challenged the kids round about the quarry, maybe they may not have been so stupid – I am talking about my own son here as well. If someone had challenged him when climbing up the cliff.
“It is not just the rescue services that need to be involved. The community has to be involved. It is a really difficult thing – who are the correct community representatives? Community councils, councillors, it has to be youth leaders and others who have to take some ownership of safety around water.”
As part of her efforts to try to ensure no other family has to go through what she went through, Gillian has worked tirelessly to try to educate young people of the dangers of water.
“I have spoken now at 11 schools in Glasgow and Fife and it is hard. It quite often leaves the audiences in tears.
"People assume that if they get into difficulty, someone will come and rescue them but cold water shock is a bigger killer than not being able to swim.”
Now Gillian is left hoping that youngsters don’t ignore the dangers and stay safe.
“When the weather starts getting warmer, they still hang about there despite what has happened and that is really sad,” she added. “At that age you are impervious to the risks. You are invincible and everything will be OK.
“The worst thing for someone who has been through it is some other family could have to go through the same.”