Teen's body recovered in quarry search

Published Tuesday, 29 May 2012
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The body of missing teen Rhys Jack has been recovered from a disused quarry in Strabane, police have confirmed.

Teen's body recovered in quarry search
Rhys Jack got into distress in water in a disused quarry in Strabane. (© Pacemaker)

Searches began on Monday evening, after the 17-year-old got into distress in deep water in the Strahan's Road area of Backtown when he fell off an old gym mat, which had been turned into a makeshift raft.

A police spokesperson said: "His body was recovered from the quarry by divers assisted by specially trained police search dogs and Foyle Search and Rescue."

Three of his friends, also believed to have been on board, were unable to help Rhys despite frantic efforts.

The recovery operation resumed on Tuesday, with searches focused on the area where the teen entered the water, pinpointed by his friends.

UTV's Gareth Wilkinson said Rhys's extended family had been at the quarry since he went missing.

"The family say they are relieved that Rhys's body has been found, but devastated by his tragic death," Gareth added.

Councillor Brian McMahon described the quarry as a "magnet for young people".

He said: "This quarry would be littered with stuff floating in it.

"He fell off the raft and struggled in the water. Most quarries are in very isolated areas and trying to get people up for rescue can take a bit of time."

It is expected the teenager will be buried later this week.

© UTV News
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3 Comments
Fearghal Devenney in Strabane wrote (784 days ago):
That quarry was a disaster waiting to happen. The young ones gather all around during the hot days and swim and cliff jump. Not only does it pose the risk of drowning but falling etc. I Say fill it up and block it off. Also my thoughts and prayers go out to the Jack family at this time.
gavin in strabane wrote (784 days ago):
i didnt know rhys that well but i cant think what his family are going through and his friends too
Ruairi Doherty in Strabane wrote (784 days ago):
That quarry should have been filled in decades ago, there have been many injuries and close encounters up at the region. Did it really take a death to bring awareness to the issue of the disused pool. It is in an isolated area and the water is so deep and murky that it's a death trap waiting. The youngsters gather every Summer to jump the rocks ledges up to 40-50ft high into the quarry. Many rock jumping videos of the exact area have been uploaded to the popular video sharing website YouTube and it's as if the youngsters have to better each other in the jumps. The young lad that died was taken too early and the whole Strabane community will support the family at this tragic time. RIP Rhys xx
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