News

Family's prayers answered as divers find teen's body

POLICE have recovered the body of missing Ipswich teenager Duncan Wilmott.

The discovery provides some closure for Duncan's family, who spent countless hours near the lake where he is believed to have drowned in a tragic accident.

The 16-year-old had been missing since Monday, January 25, after he jumped from a steep ledge on the edge of Aqua Lake, near Collingwood Park.

A large search operation was triggered, involving SES and Queensland police divers, who scoured the old quarry to a depth of 30m for several days without success.

NSW police divers were called in on Tuesday to take up where the Queensland divers left off, and it was during a search in about 32m of water yesterday that the discovery was made.

Inspector Michael Ede said divers found the body about mid-afternoon.

An autopsy will be conducted.

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

"The family has been made aware of the recovery of Duncan and they are, as you could understand, visibly upset and are requesting privacy," Insp Ede said.

Insp Ede thanked the NSW dive squad for its assistance.

"The Queensland dive squad can only operate to a maximum depth of 30m," he said.

"They expended six or seven days' worth of diving in an attempt to locate Duncan and it was considered a possibility that he was in deeper water and we requested the assistance of the NSW police service to go to the 32m mark and recover him for his family.

"It has only been initial observations at the moment but it would appear it is simply a swimming accident."

Police said the tragedy should serve as a warning of the dangers of swimming in the disused mines in the Swanbank, New Chum and Collingwood Park areas.

The lakes, colloquially known as Green Lakes, Blue Lakes and Aqua Lakes, have been popular with teenage children and young adults in Ipswich for decades. Over the last eight years, three people have lost their lives while swimming in old quarries in the area.

"Place like this have the dangers of submerged objects and emergency services cannot access them quickly."

Topics:  aqua lake body found duncan wilmott editors picks



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