Emergency crews at Bawsey Pits last Saturday. Picture: Ian Burt.

A fundraising page has been launched to raise money to help pay funeral costs for a man who drowned at Bawsey Country Park.

The body of 22-year-old Kristers Bednarskis, of Peterborough, was recovered from a lake at the former quarry site last Saturday.

His friend Ilja Jevtusenko has organised an online page, which raised more than its £5,000 target within days.

Kristers Bednarskis. Picture: Ilja Jevtusenko

“Kristers was an amazing friend to everyone, everyone that knows him will know he was the hardest working, kindest and nicest guy,” said Mr Jevtusenko on the page.

“He was an amazing friend, brother and son. Had big things going for him. He was there for everyone that needed help now it’s time to help him and his family.”

In other tributes from donors, Mr Bednerskis was described as “an excellent young man” and another post said: “You were the kindest and most gentle young man I’ve ever had the privilege to teach.”

Emergency services were called to Bawsey Pits around 11.30am after reports a swimmer had got into difficulty in the water.

Crews launched a rescue operation but Mr Bednarskis was pronounced dead at the scene.

The tragedy is the third death at the beauty spot in seven years.

In July 2013, a 16-year-old boy from London drowned and a 41-year-old man from King’s Lynn also drowned as he swam in search of the teenager.

Park staff have expressed their “sincere condolences to the family and friends” of Mr Bednarskis on a social media post and paid tribute to the emergency services who “worked tirelessly to deal with such an awful situation”.

The site was purchased by Stephen Bacon in 2015 and since then, there has a been an increase in safety signage and access routes for emergency vehicles. Rescue boats have also been installed.

In a statement on Facebook, country park staff said: “The loss of this young man’s life is a tragedy which we hope with all our hearts will never be repeated.

“We remain committed to improving the park and promoting its safe usage so that it can remain a beautiful natural site for local people to use safely and enjoy for many years to come, but we need our visitors to help us.

“We reiterate our plea for visitors to abide by the park rules and please stay out of the water so that no future tragedies occur.”

Donate to the appeal at www.gofundme.com/f/kristers-funeral-fees