Coroner - teen death 'a tragic accident'
6:40am Wednesday 5th September 2012 in News
LUKE Somerfield, the 14-yearold Ffairfach schoolboy who drowned at Cilyrychen Quarry, died as a result of a tragic accident, an inquest has ruled.
Carmarthenshire coroner Mark Layton said the Ysgol Tregib pupil and his pal had “egged each other on” to take a life buoy onto the lake in the moments before Luke died.
Mr Layton praised the efforts of two police officers who attempted to rescue Luke from the freezing water and also 14- year-old Warren Jachter, who had tried to reach his friend before the emergency services arrived.
The inquest heard howLuke, Warren, Chloe Knight, aged 13, and Melissa Duggan, 11, had climbed a security fence to access the lake, which plummets to 80 feet deep just metres from the shore, at 2pm on June 6.
After an hour at the waterside, the boys went swimming, using the buoy as a toy.
But Luke, who was not a strong swimmer, found himself drifting beyond the safety of a ledge where the water was just feet deep.
As he floated out, Luke panicked, climbed off the buoy and went under.
Warren desperately tried to save his friend, but when he was overcome by cold he returned to shore as the girls telephoned 999.
PC Jamie Lang was one of the first officers to arrive and described how he could hear the girls’ screams. He climbed the fence and went onto the underwater ledge in search of Luke, who had disappeared beneath the surface.
Meanwhile, PC Alun Morgan and a third officer cut through the fence to access the site.
PC Morgan, a former lifeguard, dived into the water, but after several minutes, he too began to succumb to the freezing waters.
PC Lang swam to the buoy Luke had used in the hope he could pass it to PC Morgan.
However, as he and another officer pulled the buoy ashore they realised the attached rope had become wrapped around Luke’s right arm. PC Morgan pulled Luke ashore.
The youngster was airlifted to Morriston Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Praising PC Morgan and PC Lang, Mr Layton said: “They both displayed great courage in entering the water in an attempt to rescue Luke.”
Mr Layton recorded a verdict of accidental death.