Warning over youths using Londonderry's Creggan reservoir

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Media captionYouths are breaking into the park and taking rowing boats out onto the water at night

The manager of Creggan Country Park in Londonderry has warned that some young people are "risking their lives" by going out in boats on reservoirs.

Gerry Quinn said that youths were using power tools to cut holes in park fences and take rowing boats, without oars, onto the water at night.

Mr Quinn is worried the behaviour could lead to a tragedy.

In 2012, 19-year-old Connor McCafferty drowned after getting into difficulty whilst swimming at Creggan reservoir.

'Deep and cold'

Gerry Quinn said that in recent weeks the park has been broken into on almost a nightly basis.

"They invariably leave a hole in the fence which we attempt to repair as soon as possible.

"We have two reservoirs which are deep and cold and at night they would represent a hazard to people messing about.

"On Sunday night we were alerted to the fact that several young people were back in again, this time they had taken a rowing boat out and were messing about without oars at significant risk to themselves."

Mr Quinn said it was fortunate that those on the reservoir left without anyone coming to harm. He believes parents have a duty to know where their children are.

"These people going out with fishing gear and perhaps power tools are risking their lives by going out onto the water at night.

"We have already experienced a tragedy here in recent years, we are constantly working to prevent another.

"If parents aren't curious as to why their sons are away fishing in Creggan in the dark, or why they go out equipped with burglars' tools to cut their way in, or even why they come home wet to the skin, what hope have we?"

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