Men 'blessed' to be rescued from freezing waters of 80ft deep quarry in Meath

The Rescue service responded to an emergency call saying that a number of men were in distress in the freezing waters of the quarry at Ardbraccan. Pictures: Meath River Rescue

A number of men were "blessed" to be rescued from a deep disused quarry on Tuesday evening after they got into difficulty in the stagnant waters.

Meath River Rescue managed to bring two men who were stranded on one side of the quarry to safety, while a third was able to swim back unassisted.

The Rescue service responded to an emergency call at 5.22pm that a number of men were in distress in the freezing waters of the quarry at Ardbraccan, outside Navan.

"We weren't sure what we were dealing with as there is no slipway or access for boats there," said Jamie Rennicks of the River Rescue.

"Myself, Shane Rennicks, Brian Gallagher and Neil Maxwell carried a dinghy down to the edge and made our way over to where the men were stranded.

"We got two into the boat and a third, who had jumped off a cliff, managed to get to safety himself.

It appears that one got into difficulty and another tried to help and he, in turn, got into difficulty.

"The third man managed to get them to the cliffside where they were stranded. They seemed ok but we advised them to seek medical attention as they had swallowed some of the water.

Jamie Rennicks of Meath River Rescue.
Jamie Rennicks of Meath River Rescue.

"There was a gang of about seven adults, maybe in their early 20s, male and female sitting on the opposite bank," he said.

Chairman of Meath River Rescue Christopher Rennicks said the men 'were blessed' to get out relatively unscathed.

"That quarry is about 80ft deep and there is a disused concrete factory at the bottom of it. If anyone was to be snagged in that, they wouldn't have a chance," he said.

"The water is also freezing cold because of the rocks and springs.

"It's dangerous for even experienced divers and I'd just appeal to people to stay away from it. There are a number of signs around the property warning of the dangers, which it seems, are being ignored.

"It appears from empty cans around the place that it's used a lot for drinking parties and if that's the case, it's only a matter of time before a tragedy occurs," he said.

It is understood that the owners have been having trouble with groups of youths using the quarry in the good weather and they have had to replace broken gate locks and fences a number of times, which have been smashed to gain illegal entry to the property.

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