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Sunday, 17 November, 2002, 18:41 GMT
Police plan to recover diver's body
Dorothea Quarry in Gwynedd
Dorothea quarry has been the scene of many fatalities
Police sub-aqua officers are planning to use specialist equipment to recover the body of a diver who died at a disused north Wales quarry.

They called off their search at the notoriously dangerous Dorothea Quarry in the Nantlle Valley, Gwynedd, as light faded on Sunday.

The man - aged 57 and from Oldham in Greater Manchester - failed to resurface when diving with a friend, and the alarm was raised at 1130 GMT.

Divers at Dorothea quarry, north Wales
The quarry is popular with diving enthusiasts

The 300ft-deep quarry has been dubbed "death quarry" by locals, who have seen 20 deaths over the past 10 years.

It is considered to be one of the best freshwater diving sites in the UK.

Earlier this year, its owner urged enthusiasts to stay away after the death of Paul Amison, 32, from Staffordshire.

Asked to leave

Glyn Small said he had made repeated efforts to prevent thrill-seekers using the area, but all his attempts to block access had been ignored.

Just days after the death in February, he had to ask a group of divers from Cambridgeshire who were at the quarry to leave.

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.

Safety measures

Mr Small has talked of plans to create a proper scuba-diving centre at the quarry, but any such development would be manned by qualified staff and will have safety resources including a rescue boat, a helipad and a portable hyperbolic chamber.

At the time of the last tragedy, Hywel Williams, the Plaid Cymru MP for Caernarfon, renewed his plea for divers to stay away from the quarry until safety measures were 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."

See also:

24 Feb 02 | Wales
24 Feb 02 | Wales
19 Dec 01 | Wales
18 Dec 01 | Wales
02 Aug 00 | Wales
Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


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