Pal tried to save teen from quarry
AN inquest has heard how a schoolboy desperately tried to save his best friend from drowning in a flooded quarry.
Luke Somerfield, from Llandeilo, had gone to the disused Cilyrychen quarry near Llandybie on June 6 with friends.
When the 14-year-old got into difficulty in the water his friend Warren Jachter went to his aid but was forced to return to the shore and call 999.
When the police arrived a constable dived down 15ft in the “breathtakingly cold” water to try to save the youngster, who had a rope from a life preserver tangled around his arm.
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An inquest in Llanelli town hall heard that Luke had gone down to the quarry — known locally as the Blue Lagoon — with his friends Melissa Duggan, Warren Jachter and Chloe Knight during their half-term school holidays after the site was recommended to them by fellow school pupils.
In a statement to the inquest, 14-year-old Warren said: “The water was freezing and after going in for a few minutes, we decided to get out. We went exploring around the edge of the quarry for around an hour, but Luke decided he wanted to go back in.
“He put the life preserver on and went out into the waters, with him sitting in the middle. As he was drifting further and further out, he started to panic and jumped off the ring.
“He immediately went under and when he came back up he was splashing wildly and calling for help.”
The youngster swam to his friend’s aid but found himself being dragged under the water, so returned to shore and raised the alarm.
First on the scene were Dyfed- Powys Police constables Robert Lang and Alan Morgan — both officers went into the water to try to find the youngster, with PC Morgan diving down 15ft to get to the schoolboy.
The teenager was brought to the surface by the officer and airlifted to Morriston Hospital where, despite his heart being successfully restarted, he later died.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Carmarthenshire coroner, Mark Layton, commended the police officers for their bravery.