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Monday, 25 February, 2002, 14:51 GMT
Diving ban call at 'death quarry'
Dorothea Quarry in Gwynedd
Dorothea quarry has been the scene of many fatalities
The owner of a quarry in north Wales where four divers have been killed in as many months has urged enthusiasts to stay away.

Paul Amison, 32, from Staffordshire, was the latest to die at the Dorothea Quarry in the Nantlle Valley, Gwynedd, after getting into difficulties over the weekend.

Les Jones, Gwynedd county council
Les Jones, Gwynedd county council

Three other divers have died there in the last four months, while 20 have died in the last 10 years.

Glyn Small - who leases the 300 foot quarry which is considered to be one of the best freshwater diving sites in the UK - is planning to open a scuba diving centre there next month.

He said he has had many meetings with officials to try to combat the problem, but whatever barriers he puts up are ignored.

Following the latest fatality he appealed to divers stay away from the site until the centre is opened.

He said he had asked a group of divers from Cambridgeshire who were at the quarry on Monday to leave immediately.

Hywel Williams MP
Hywel Williams has urged a halt to diving

"I have told them they should not be on the site, that they should leave and should not come back until its a diving centre," said Mr Small.

He said the roads into the quarry had been closed off with 30 tonne boulders and huge trenches, but groups had still managed to get into the site.

"I hope the people who are doing this have a conscience because these deaths need not have happened," he said.

The new diving centre will be manned by qualified staff and will have resources including a rescue boat, a helipad and a portable hyperbolic chamber.

Earlier Hywel Williams, the Plaid Cymru MP for Caernarfon, renewed his plea for divers to stay away from the quarry until safety measures are in place.

"I recognise people's rights to take risks as long as those risks are well-thought through and there are adequate safety measures," said Mr Williams.

"I think the danger here is people may be venturing beyond their capacities without quite realising what they are doing."


I hope the people who are doing this have a conscience because these deaths need not have happened

Glyn Small

In December 2001, Mick Gott from Derbyshire, and Jason Barrass from Preston, died in separate accidents at the Dorothea quarry within 48 hours of each other.

Another diver had died at the site in the previous month.

Local councillor Les Jones said the owners of the quarry ought to do more to block access to the site.

"They should at least make an effort to stop people from coming to the quarry to dive and to stop these tragedies taking place," he said.

The quarry owners have regularly warned divers that they are trespassing.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Diver Chris Stenton
"People dive outside their training limits."
BBC Wales's Laura Jones
"The Dorothea Quarry is considered to be one of the best freshwater diving sites in the UK"
See also:

18 Dec 01 | Wales
Second diver dies at quarry
02 Aug 00 | Wales
Diver sets new world record
Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


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