Firefighters share heartbreaking story of teenager who drowned at Ulley reservoir

by Admin

Firefighters are urging young people to think again before jumping into lakes and reservoirs by sharing the heart breaking true story of Sam Haycock, a 16-year-old boy who drowned after jumping into Ulley Reservoir in a new water safety campaign.

The campaign, called “Sam’s Story”, centres around a short film that follows Sam on his last day and the events leading up to his tragic death (see below) and has been launched during Drowning Prevention Week, a campaign led by the Royal Life Saving Society.


“It’s the absence that gets you. One minute your son is there, looking forward to the summer holidays and the next chapter of his life at college, and then he’s gone,” says Simon Haycock, Sam’s father who set up the water safety campaign group Sam’s Army in memory of his son.

“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to outlive their children. I want to make sure that no other families have to go through what we went through.

“I hope that this video will make young people think first before jumping into a lake or reservoir on a hot day.”

Ade Parkin, group manager at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “Sam’s story is incredibly tragic and shows just what can happen if you don’t treat water with respect.

“Water in lakes and reservoirs is often much colder than you think – even on hot days. It can cause your body to go into cold water shock, leaving you helpless in seconds. There can also be hidden currents that can overpower even strong swimmers.

“If you want to swim in open water it is best do this as part of an organised group who consider the weather and other factors that could impact safety, and take care to properly acclimatize to the water temperatures.

“Our ask is to share this video with any young people you know so that we don’t lose any more young people in the water”.

As part of the campaign the service is carrying out educational activities at Ulley Reservoir throughout June with schoolchildren from across the county.

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