WESTFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - Authorities have identified a man who died while swimming at a quarry in Westford on Monday as a 18-year-old from Methuen, state police announced.
Emergency crews responded to Merrill’s Quarry Monday afternoon. In an update on Wednesday, state police said investigators determined Chester Rodriguez had been swimming with friends shortly before 5 p.m. when he began struggling and went underwater.
Westford officials said divers later recovered the body of the victim, now identified as Rodriguez, in about 40 feet of water around 5:30 p.m.
State police on Wednesday said there is no evidence of foul play in this incident and noted several “private property” and “no trespassing” signs posted at Merrill’s Quarry.
There was a visible emergency presence around the quarry for several hours on Monday as authorities from multiple area communities joined Westford police, Westford firefighters and Massachusetts State Police personnel at the scene.
One Tyngsboro firefighter received minor injuries during the search and was taken to a hospital, according to the Westford Fire Department.
Officials in Westford said emergency responses at the quarry can be challenging, with underwater hazards and low visibility in the water itself.
“We’ve never really found out how deep it is,” said Westford Deputy Fire Chief Mike Denehy. “There’s a lot of stuff in there. Dangerous stuff, cranes and stuff like that.”
Even with the challenges, Denehy said crews responded to the quarry just one week before Monday’s incident after they received a report of someone jumping into the water.
“It’s a yearly thing [that] we come up here for something,” Denehy said.
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