Mum launches ‘be safe’ campaign in memory of daughter who died after swimming in Blue Lagoon

Nicola Johnson with daughter Emily PNL-150729-105823001
Nicola Johnson with daughter Emily PNL-150729-105823001

A mother’s campaign to prevent future drownings in a notorious lake will commemorate the first anniversary of her daughter’s death.

Emily Johnson, 20, died after becoming submerged in Bletchley’s Blue Lagoon while out with friends in July last year.

This week, mum Nicola made a heartfelt plea in her daughter’s memory to warn swimmers against taking a dip this summer.

She said: “On the day it happened I was just a normal mum getting my son ready for school and going to work –then I got a knock on the door from a policeman.

“20 minutes later I was in intensive care with my daughter and my life changed forever.

A year on she is warning others not to risk swimming in open waters. She added: “You think it will never happen to you, but Emily was a very strong, capable swimmer. If it can happen to her, it can happen to anyone.

“The water looks so beautiful from above, but you do not realise how dangerous it is under the surface.”

Emily, a former Stantonbury Campus student who lived in Crosslands, was last seen in the water with a young child from their group. After she disappeared under the water, other young teenagers jumped into the water to try and rescue her.

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She was treated on the banks of the lake and then airlifted to hospital but died two days later from her brain injuries.

Her mum praised the efforts of strangers who risked their own lives to help Emily.

She said: “It is devastating to lose a loved one that way.

“Without their help we would not have got the time to say goodbye to Emily like we did.

“I will be forever grateful to them.”

During last month’s heatwave, safety experts were disheartened to find swimmers ignoring warning signs and cooling down in the Blue Lagoon.

Safer MK patrols have been put in place in the area. Spot checks have also been carried out the fire service –but many are being met with abuse when they ask swimmers to leave the lake.

Nicola says she will continue to campaign to stop future deaths and plans to visit the Blue Lagoon on the anniversary of Emily’s death on August 1.

She added: “I have never been there and I said I never would, but I think I need to do it.

“It is going to be a very hard day, but I want to throw some flowers into the water in her memory.

“I just don’t want anyone to have go through what we have as a family.”