Search for missing teen at Eno River State Park now a recovery effort, officials say

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DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Rescue personnel in Durham will resume the search Wednesday morning for a teenager they say drowned at Eno River State Park on Tuesday evening. 

Officials said Wednesday morning just before 7 a.m. that the search for the teen is now a recovery effort and not a rescue effort. Searchers are now looking for the teen’s body.

Park officials say the 18-year-old was with a friend when he jumped into the water.

Officials say the friend reported the teen came up from the water, then went under again. The friend didn’t see the teen emerge from the water and called 911 at 5:15 pm.

Although the 60-acre quarry, which sits at the edge of the Eno River, is a popular swimming spot, park rangers strongly advise against it, saying the quarry is very dangerous.

“Swimming is not recommended in the park. The quarry is not recommended swimming in. It’s razor sharp rocks on the side. It’s an old quarry, they removed the rock, it’s a hole in the ground. It’s very cold, it’s dark, you cannot see in the water,” said Park Ranger Jack Singley.

Park Rangers say at its deepest, the quarry is about 60 feet deep.

In addition to using boats and divers, park rangers completed a “hasty search,” looking for items like a car or backpack belonging to the missing person.

“We look for examples of things they may have left, so we can try to find them and help them leave the park safely,” Singley said.

A call came in at 5:15 p.m. about the possible drowning. Rescue crews searched around the park, in the water with boats. They also utilized divers.

The search was suspended before 10 p.m. Tuesday and the recovery effort will begin around 9 a.m., officials said.

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