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Mine Hazard Awareness Campaign

Accident Information File

A Methuen, Mass., teen died while swimming in an old quarry despite an intense rescue effort by North Andover firefighters and police. The 18-year-old drowning victim apparently swam toward a log floating in the water when he began yelling to friends for help. They thought it was a joke until they saw him slip below the surface. Another group of four teens who were also swimming at the pond had a rubber raft in the water and paddled out to try to help the teen. When they were unable to find him, they called 911. According to rescue officials, they're not sure whether he got caught on something or just ran out of breath. "It was difficult," said one of the rescue workers. "The water is very murky, and as you go down, it gets very cold." While rescue workers searched the surface from the boat, other firefighters and police began swimming and diving trying to locate him. Activity at this site has caused chronic problems for local police over the year. Despite signs that warn swimming is not allowed, the isolated pond, which is owned by the National Park Service, has been a draw for local teens, students from Merrimack College and young people in Massachusetts communities as far away as Lynn and Lowell. Another 18-year-old drowned at the quarry in June 1999. (Source: North Andover Citizen)