Sunday 22 April 2018

Body of dead teenager found at water-filled quarry in Tyrone

Michael McHugh

A DEAD teenager has been found at a water-filled disused quarry in Strabane, Co Tyrone.

The search began yesterday evening when 17-year-old Rhys Jack fell into the water from a makeshift raft in the Backtown area of Strabane.

Three other teenagers who fell in at the same time were rescued. Mr Jack's family said his friends had tried frantically to save him.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokeswoman said: "Following a search of a quarry at Strahan's Road area of Blacktown in Strabane, the body of a young man has been recovered this afternoon.

"The young man has been named as Rhys Jack. He was 17 years old and from the Strabane area.

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

Before the teenager's body was recovered, his uncle, Darren McGarrigle, said the family were "totally devastated".

"He is just a wee one. It shouldn't happen. The whole family is just absolutely in shock," he told the BBC.

Mr McGarrigle described his nephew as a "loveable rogue".

"He was a typical teenager," he said."He had his wee cheeky moments, but he was very kind and funny. He was a good lad."

PSNI Chief Inspector Andy Lemon said witnesses to Monday's incident had returned to the scene to assist Foyle Search and Rescue divers to identify the area where Mr Jack went missing.

Police, firefighters and volunteer divers were involved in the search.

About 150 young people gathered at the scene after people in the area heard what happened.

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