Multi-agency group join forces to prioritise safety at Enagh Lough
18 November 2022
Members of a multi-agency group met this week to receive an update on the implementation of safety measures at Enagh Lough and heard how significant progress has been made in looking at safety remediation measures at the site.
The meeting heard how there has been successful engagement with the charity the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to carry out a Water Safety Risk Assessment of the site in the coming weeks. A number of statutory, voluntary partners, charities and private donors have all offered funding to support the report and any safety remediation measures at the site.
The meeting which was convened by the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Sandra Duffy is the second one organised since the tragic passing of Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian who died after getting into difficulty whilst swimming with friends in the Lough in late August.
The meeting was attended by representatives from various interested groups and organisations and members said they were pleased that RoSPA, a charity with a proven track record and best practice guides and experts in this topic, is available to carry out the risk assessment. It is envisaged the risk assessment and remedial works will be completed before late spring/early summer next year and help provide an acceptably safe amenity for local residents and a water area that is safe and designed responsibly.
Attendees were reminded that while Derry City and Strabane District Council has no statutory responsibility for waterways and water safety or any ownership of lands at Enagh Lough, it continues to take a proactive approach through engagement with a range of stakeholders and interested parties to carry out exploratory works to help identify roles and responsibilities at the lough.
Mayor Cllr Sandra Duffy extending her thanks to everyone for attending the meeting praised the positive partnership working and collaborative approach to this very important but sensitive issue.
“I want to acknowledge the excellent work done by everyone involved in this multi-agency grouping in coming together to address this issue in a collective manner. By working together towards prioritising water safety we are making real progress into how we can collectively create better awareness of the dangers of the water and do what we can to prevent further tragedies.”
Among those in attendance were representatives from the Honourable the Irish Society, Enagh Country Park, Foyle Search and Rescue, PSNI, Loughs Agency and the Policing and Community Safety Partnership as well as local MLAs, Derry City and Strabane District Council party leaders, independent councillors and elected representatives from the Faughan DEA.