MEMBERS of the public are being urged to stay away from dangerous quarries following the death of a Barrow man.

Dad-of-one Chris Maitland was tragically killed when he jumped hundreds of feet into Hodge Close Quarry near Coniston last week.

The 30-year-old had visited the area with friends when he jumped from the edge of the former slate mine. His body was later recovered by mountain rescue teams.

The Mineral Products Association, the trade association that represents the UK quarrying industry, is supporting organisations such as the RNLI, RLSS and emergency services in their campaigns to educate the public and help prevent deaths in quarries.

A spokeswoman for the MPA warned that quarry lakes can be extremely deep and conceal hazards including old machinery.

The spokeswoman said: "Over the last six weeks there have been a number of tragic drownings in quarry lakes, reservoirs, canals and other, similar man-made bodies of open water. All too often, these tragedies occur when people are engaged in what they perceive as harmless fun, either cooling off in the water or playing near the water’s edge.

"Man-made water bodies like quarry lakes and reservoirs can be extremely deep, have sudden changes in water depth, be difficult to exit and conceal a range of hazards such as pumps, entangling weeds, rocks and old machinery. Quarry faces and edges can be unstable and suddenly give way, resulting in falls into water and also making it more difficult to get oneself back onto dry land.

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is supporting the water safety campaigns being run by the RNLI and other organisations such as the RLSS and the Fire and Rescue Services “Be Water Aware” campaign. Collectively, we do not want to discourage members of the public from enjoying the water but would like people to be aware of the risks and choose to swim in areas that are safe."