I had planned to write my column this week about the two schools I visited last Friday, the Colne Gala, the Pendle Schools’ Music Festival and generally celebrating Pendle’s talented young people.
However, tragically on Monday we learned of the death of one of those talented young people, when 17-year-old James Goodship’s body was recovered from Lake Burwain.
I know this weekend Pendle residents’ thoughts and prayers will be with his family, his friends and many at Park High School who will be overcome with grief.
The outpouring of love and affection to James online and around Colne has been incredibly moving and shows just how much he will be missed by everyone who knew him.
Sadly every year, as summer arrives, we hear of dreadful stories of people drowning 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. Last year I met Beckie Ramsay, whose son Dylan died aged 13 in a disused quarry near Chorley and since then has become a water safety campaigner across Lancashire.
In the past three years Lancashire Fire and Rescue service have been called out to 60 water rescues and only last week Parliament was debating prevention measures, education and other steps that could be taken to raise awareness of the dangers of open water.
There will be many issues raised and questions asked in the days and weeks to come about this tragedy and if it could have been avoided or if there are lessons that can be learned.
However, for now let’s mourn the loss of a talented young man who will never live to fulfil his potential.