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A Scottish community was left in mourning when young Cameron Lancaster tragically drowned in a disused quarry after jumping in one August day.

The popular 18-year-old from Burntisland, remembered as a kind and generous young man, died in 2014 after leaping from the 70 foot cliffs into the water of an abandoned quarry in Fife.
Cameron broke his neck from the impact with the water and lost consciousness. When he failed to surface his frantic friends called the emergency services, prompting a four hour search before his body was found.

Cameron, a talented teenager with a strong love for drama and music, left behind a devastated family who struggled to deal with the sudden and tragic loss.

His mother Gillian Barclay, 52, is desperate that others don’t have to go through the unbearable pain of losing a son or a friend.

“That morning, we were sat in the kitchen filling in his matriculation form for university and he was playing around trying to get me to let him take the best guitar in the house – he sang to me beautifully. I miss his singing around the house

“Then he told me he was going out to do the Ice Bucket challenge. I said you’re not going to do anything stupid are you and he said ‘no promises’. I just knew what he was going to do and I said you’re not going to jump into the quarry are you and he replied ‘no promises’.

Cameron Lancaster“I actually ran after him and told him I didn’t want him to do it and he said ‘Mum I’ve done it hundreds of times before, I’ll be fine’. And that’s the last thing he ever said to me.


“I was in the garden with my youngest son when I saw three people walking up to the house and I recognised one of them was Cameron’s friend and I just knew something awful had happened. I didn’t believe them at first; I thought he’s played a prank and he’ll hop out in a minute and say ‘tada’.

“It hasn’t just been our family who have been left shattered by this – it’s his friends too. They are still not over it and seeing them struggling really affects me.”

Gillian began campaigning in schools on water safety about nine months after Cameron’s death, when another teenager tragically lost his life in the same quarry.

“It hit me terribly. I just thought I can’t do nothing and let this carry on happening,” she added. 

“Going into schools is really, really hard because I have to talk about what happened and talk about Cameron in the past tense. That has never gotten any easier.

“But if my visits to schools can get one child to change their behaviour, I feel it will be worth it.

 “I tell these kids your lives are precious, think about the lives you will devastate when you leave them behind. I just don’t want anyone else’s family to go through what we have gone through.”

 

To find out more about RLSS UK, the drowning prevention charity, click here.