Quarry raves getting dangerously out of control

Brian Ethridge

July 21, 2014

Kids will be kids; teenagers will be teenagers. Sometimes the young adrenaline junkies are just seeking a harmless, fun time, but sometimes they put their lives at risk without even realizing it. Recently teenagers and college kids have been hosting rave parties at unused quarry sites which have already resulted in several deaths and multiple injuries.

Six people have drowned at former quarry sites across the UK during a two month period coinciding with school holidays. Young people don’t initially see the harm in going for a swim in quarry ponds. Unfortunately, the water is usually compromised with silt which makes a seemingly fun swim quickly turn into a life and death situation.

Climbing out of the water becomes extremely difficult even for the most athletic swimmers in the world.

In addition to the deceiving ponds, these quarry sites have many unstable cliffs which are extremely high. A fall would almost certainly cause an instantaneous death or a very serious injury.

There isn’t much quarry owners can do to keep kids from foolishly risking their lives. Most managers have made an attempt to warn people of the dangers by posting more warning signs and more fencing around these dangerous sites.

“We make every reasonable effort to keep people out of the area, there are lots of warning notices and signs telling people where they should go and fencing, but if people did want to get into the site they possibly could,” Marybank Quarry Manager Davie Macleod said.

Quarry raves warning stay out trespassing signs

In Newry, Ireland police were on top of things and stopped an illegal quarry rave before it ever happened. The event was being promoted by partygoers on social media sites. The authorities got ahold of their Facebook logins and told people to stay away from the event.

The road to the quarry had been closed for some time after serious subsidence, but that didn’t stop it from attracting the rave-hungry youth. Before police shut down the event and got ahold of Facebook login credentials, the page had almost 4,500 likes.

Although interested partygoers criticized police for spoiling the fun, the officers stuck to their guns and never allowed the rave to commence.

Garson, Ontario is the home of a sand pit that has already been involved in two deaths. In 2012 there was a stabbing death at a 2012 rave party at the pit. Last July tragedy struck the pit again when 19-year-old Mathew Marcotte suffered fatal head injuries after being thrown from the back of a pickup. Marcotte and his friends were driving around the pit having what they thought was harmless fun.

Police have spent hours plotting the fastest routes to and from the pit. If people try to throw a rave, they believe they have a plan in action to stop anyone from getting seriously hurt.

“Instead of trying to find our way there, we have maps now that particularly guide us to the point where they point out entrance points and exit points,” Staff sergeant Terry Rumford said.

With any luck, today’s youth will think twice before deciding to throw a rave at an old quarry site. In the meantime, quarry operators should be alert to this emerging party trend and take precautions to prevent such incidents during off hours at their sites.

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