AN East Lancashire MP has helped set up a new cross-party group to promote safety in lakes and reservoirs.

The formation of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Water Safety and Drowning Prevention comes after a coroner ruled that the death of James Goodship, who drowned in Foulridge in June, was a ‘cruel accident’.


Prime Minister David Cameron described 17-year-old James’s death as ‘absolutely heartbreaking’ when Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson raised the matter in Parliament this summer.

The group, which will hold its inaugural AGM on October 14, will be spearheaded by Stratford-on-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawi, with the aim of pro-viding a ‘platform for change’ in relation to drowning prevention measures.

Mr Stephenson said he was compelled to get involved be-cause of the incidents involving James, from Colne, and Chorley teenager Dylan Ramsey, who drowned in Whittle-le-Woods in 2011.

The Conservative MP said: “Sadly every year, we hear of dreadful stories of people drow-ning in open waters – dams, reservoirs, and canal locks.

“Each of these deaths represents a heart-breaking individual story – it could be your son or daughter, your brother or sister, it could be you.” In the past three years, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has been called out to 60 water rescues.

Speaking after the inquest into James’s death in Burnley on Tuesday, his mum, Melanie, raised the possibility of working alongside Mrs Ramsey to educate youngsters in East Lancashire about the dangers of playing in water.

Mr Stephenson added: “This new Parliamentary Group will bring together MPs conc-erned about water safety and drowning prev-ention and will provide a platform we can use to push for change.

“I am pleased to be working with Nadhim and others to get this group up and running.”