A GRIEVING mother has revealed how she begged her teenage son not to swim in a local quarry hours before he died in a tombstoning accident.
Cameron Lancaster died last summer aged 18 after diving from a sheer cliff face into the deep waters of Preston Hill Quarry in Inverkeithing, Fife.
He was swimming in the area with friends, and made the fateful leap as a part of the ice-bucket challenge charity craze sweeping the nation at the time.
His mother, Gillian Barclay, yesterday (Tue) took the brave decision to speak at Cameron’s old school in a bid to prevent further tragedies.
Cameron’s death, on August 25, 2014, was followed this summer by the drowning another local teenager in the same flooded quarry.
Recalling the day her son died, Gillian said: “I guessed that morning what he was going to do.
“I remember running out and telling him not to do it, and not to go but he said, ‘don’t worry mum I’ve done it loads of times before’.”
She explained that the death in the same quarry this June of 18-year-old John McKay had brought much of the pain and trauma of her own son’s death back.
She said: “I found the day of John’s death particularly difficult to deal with as it brought back all of my previous memories.
“I remember on the day of Cameron’s death I was cutting the grass and the Police came to tell me something had happened.
“But they couldn’t confirm that he had died as they hadn’t found a body yet. His sister was hysterical with not knowing, and I kept expecting him to pop his head around and be alright.
“They didn’t confirm his death until four hours later at 9:00pm.”
Gillian was speaking before she was due to take to the stage at Inverkeithing High School, less than two miles away from where her son died.
She wanted to get across the message that an adrenaline rush and impressing friends is not worth risking your life for.
She said: “I think people of his age are just more interested in impressing their friends than listening to their family.
“No matter what I say there will always be that drive to impress your friends.
“What I would say however is that when something like this happens it’s a death sentence for the family.
“People also need to understand the wider impact that an event like this can have on people.
“I know a number of Cameron’s friends who have dropped out of uni because of his death.
“On the eve of the anniversary of his death we had a big bonfire to which 60 or 70 people came and it does make you realise the wide impact something like this can have.”
Inspector Tom Barrett – a Police Scotland representative also making a speech at the school – added: “We’re not trying to discourage people from using water, but they should understand that there are stretches of water where temperatures are too dangerous and can put your life at risk.
“Were something to happen it’s a life sentence for the family involved.
“You have to consider that before taking that step.”
Four hundred people die in Britain each year jumping into dangerous waters, with most incidents taking place in Scotland.