Authorities Identify 18-Year-Old Who Died While Swimming at Westford Quarry

By | September 6, 2023

Authorities have identified an 18-year-old man from Methuen who died while swimming at a quarry in Westford. The victim, Chester Rodriguez, was swimming with friends when he began struggling and went underwater. There is no evidence of foul play. The quarry poses challenges for emergency responses due to underwater hazards and low visibility. Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News reported

WESTFORD, MASS. (WHDH) – State police have identified an 18-year-old man from Methuen as the individual who tragically lost his life while swimming at a quarry in Westford on Monday. Chester Rodriguez was swimming with friends at Merrill’s Quarry when he encountered difficulties and submerged underwater, according to authorities. The victim’s body was later recovered by divers in approximately 40 feet of water.

Investigations conducted by state police have revealed no evidence of foul play in the incident. It has been noted that Merrill’s Quarry is marked with several “private property” and “no trespassing” signs, indicating that swimming at the location is prohibited.

On Monday, emergency crews from multiple area communities, including Westford police, Westford firefighters, and Massachusetts State Police personnel, were present at the scene. The search for Rodriguez lasted several hours and unfortunately resulted in a minor injury to a Tyngsboro firefighter, who was promptly transported to a nearby hospital, as reported by the Westford Fire Department.

Officials in Westford have highlighted the challenges associated with emergency responses at the quarry. The presence of underwater hazards and limited visibility make rescue operations difficult. Westford Deputy Fire Chief Mike Denehy emphasized the presence of dangerous objects such as cranes within the quarry, further adding to the complexity of the situation. Remarkably, the incident on Monday was not the first emergency response at the quarry in recent times. Just a week prior, authorities had responded to a report of someone jumping into the water.

The depth of Merrill’s Quarry remains unknown, according to Denehy. He expressed the ongoing struggle in determining the exact measurements due to the hazardous conditions and obstacles present within the quarry. With the recovery of Chester Rodriguez’s body, authorities hope to gain a better understanding of the quarry’s characteristics and take necessary precautions to prevent future accidents.

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As investigations continue, authorities urge the public to respect the signage and avoid trespassing at Merrill’s Quarry. Swimming in unauthorized areas can pose serious risks, as demonstrated by this tragic incident.

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