Teenager died in
quarry just week
after 15th birthday

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A teenage boy who died after falling into water at a quarry in Dudley in the West Midlands was on holiday visiting family, just one week after his 15th birthday, police said.

The body of Augusto Massampo Zacarias, from Portugal, was pulled from the water at the quarry on Wednesday evening.

The grim discovery came after emergency services searched for around seven hours for the teenager, hampered by the zero visibility in the water and poor access to the scene.

Augusto travelled with family members from Portugal and had been in the country for less than three weeks, police said.

He visited with his parents and young brother and had celebrated his 15th birthday only last week.

In a statement released through police, Augusto’s father and mother, Pedro and Paulina Zacarias, said: “Augusto was our first child, who we loved with all our hearts. He was a loving son and older brother to Samuel.

“Augusto loved to play football and hoped to play professionally one day. He was a very sensible young man and had begun to make plans for the future should he not have been successful as a footballer. He planned to continue his studies and eventually work in engineering.

“Our son’s passing is a great loss to us as a family; he will be deeply missed and forever in our thoughts.”

West Midlands Police said the teenager had been at the quarry with friends who tried to rescue him before calling the emergency services.

Emergency services arrived just before 1.20pm and fire service officers used a dinghy to search the area of water where he had last been seen and the police helicopter was called to help using its on-board thermal imaging equipment.

In the wake of the tragedy, police have continued to urge young people not to swim or play near open or unsupervised water.

Augusto’s death follows those of 14-year-old Aaron Burgess, who died in a stretch of the River Avon between Bristol and Bath, and the death of a 15-year-old boy in the River Nene in Northamptonshire, both on Tuesday.

A search is also under way for a missing man who jumped into the sea to rescue two children.

The man, 33, entered the water with another man to help the children, aged three and 17, who had got into difficulty close to the entrance of Portsmouth Harbour, a spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said.

He said police and other emergency services were called to the scene at 3.45pm, adding: “Both children are now out of the water as is another man who also went in to save them.

“The search for the first man is continuing in the waters around Camber Docks and Old Portsmouth and involves the Coastguard helicopter and the Ministry of Defence police boat.”

A Solent Coastguard spokeswoman said Coastguard rescue teams, the Coastguard helicopter, Gosport lifeboat, Hampshire Constabulary and Royal Navy personnel were all involved. She said very strong currents, deep channels and ferries made it dangerous.