A TEENAGE boy has been found dead in a lake at a quarry in the Malvern HIlls, in what appears to be a tragic accident.

Emergency services were called to Gullet Quarry, near Castlemorton, at around 1.20pm yesterday following reports the boy had failed to resurface after swimming in the water.

The emergency services – including Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and a diving team from South Wales Police – worked at the scene for a number of hours to locate the teenager, before recovering his body at around 4.50pm.

The death of the boy, who has not been named, is not being treated as suspicious and officers are preparing a report for the coroner, who has been informed.

Detective Inspector Richard Rees said: “This appears to have been a tragic accident and our thoughts are with the boy’s family and friends at this sad time.

“While it is too early to give a cause of death, we would like to take this opportunity to remind people about the dangers of open water.

“With the warm weather upon us and the school holidays approaching, we would advise people to think twice about going into local rivers, lakes and canals in order to cool off.

"We are privileged to live and work in a beautiful part of the country with a huge area of water. However, this comes with its dangers and we would appeal for people to recognise the risks associated with water and act responsibly.”

A woman who lives locally, but declined to be named, said it was not the first time someone had been killed swimming in the disused quarry.

She said: "My partner called me and said it was all cordoned off because a lad had died.

"There are signs up all around saying don't swim or dive, and that there have been people killed in the last few years here.

"Under the water there's the old machinery still down there."

She added that the site was popular with young people who use the sheer sides of the quarry, 30ft up, to dive down into the chilly waters below.

Another man, who did not wish to be identified, said the quarry was about 100ft deep in the middle and there was still a crane stood upright but hidden just beneath the surface.

"In the past here, a lad who jumped off hit the side as he went down and broke his back. It's dangerous," he said.

Late yesterday, there were still about a dozen people, including families, sat on the banks of the quarry and others swimming in the water after emergency services had earlier reopened the scene.

The quarry and surrounding area are all part of the picturesque Malvern Hills, but although popular in the hot weather the quarry is surrounded by warning signs which prohibit swimming and diving.

One of the signs, carries a warning on behalf of Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and also the Malvern Hills Conservators which manage the hills, stating:

"There have been three fatalities from drowning in the last six years and multiple serious injuries from swimming in these waters.

"Do not swim - danger."

A woman who lives nearby, who also declined to be named, said there had been dozens of emergency service personnel at the site for much of the afternoon.

She added: "It's sad what has happened, very sad."