Family's heartbreaking vigil at site where teen last seen

Police divers search for the body of Duncan Wilmott in Aqua Lake. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times
Police divers search for the body of Duncan Wilmott in Aqua Lake. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times Rob Williams

THE grim search for a missing teen feared drowned will resume today after police divers were unable to locate his body in a water-filled quarry.

Duncan Cameron Wilmott, 16, went missing on Monday after jumping off a ledge into a water-filled former open cut mine near Collingwood Park.

The teen was at the mine site with a friend who told police Mr Wilmott jumped off the 5m ledge into the water, resurfaced momentarily and then went back under.

Tragically police conceded yesterday the operation had now moved from a search mission into a recovery phase.

The popular teen was due to commence his senior year today at Ipswich State High School.

Principal Simon Riley said it was a tragic and heartbreaking start to the school year.

Duncan Wilmott, 16, drowned after jumping into a disused quarry at Collingwood Park on January 25, 2015. Photo: Contributed
Duncan Wilmott, 16, drowned after jumping into a disused quarry at Collingwood Park on January 25, 2015. Photo: Contributed Contributed

He said the school would provide support and counselling for Mr Wilmott's classmates and friends.

"I have been in contact with Duncan's family and they are obviously very distressed at what has happened," he said.

"There will be a team onsite at the school today to help and support Duncan's friends should they require it. A communication will also be sent out to all parents informing them on what support is available to students."

Ipswich district duty officer Senior Sergeant Paul Andrews said divers had been faced with difficult conditions in the search for the missing teen.

He said the quarry, known as Aqua Lake, was up to 80m deep in parts and was littered with debris such as boulders, cars, trees and at least one excavator.

"His family is distraught and they understand what outcome may be coming," he said.

"There are many of these quarries around and it (people accessing them) is an ongoing problem.

"It is certainly a dangerous situation jumping into areas you do not know about, so I would not recommend it at all."

It is the third drowning death over the past decade at one of the former mines sites scattered around the Swanbank and New Chum area.

Nick Manz, 24, was killed on November 2, 2008 after he dived into water at the former Swanbank coal mine site.

A Sudanese man, 22, drowned on December 11, 2009 after he jumped into a former water-filled mine at Collingwood Park.

Topics:  collingwood park duncan wilmott editors picks missing teenager

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