A 15-year-old boy, Spencer Hurst, has drowned after getting into difficulties while swimming in a lake with friends during the heatwave.
Rescue crews, including four ambulances, an air ambulance, police and fire engines, dashed to the scene at 6.50pm on Tuesday (20/6).
Witnesses say the rescue teams were delayed in reaching Spencer because the gates to Ryders Hayes Mear in Pelsall, Walsall, West Mids., were locked.
A woman, who only gave her name as Tanya, said: “I got here about 20 minutes after, but I arrived the same time as the emergency services.
“They tried to go through the new estate and they couldn’t get access so they turned around.
“When I got there, his friends were crying and saying that he felt out of breath. They tried to grab his hand and he went under.
“He was with about three others.
“There were some people fishing and one gentlemen jumped in and tried to find him. The man was in there for 10-15 minutes, but he couldn’t find him.
“The youths all swim in there. It’s really deep, it’s really dangerous. You shouldn’t swim there at all.
“It was awful, that many people came over.
“I heard shouting but I thought they were just playing. It wasn’t until I saw the emergency services that I thought that something had happened, so I came over to see if I could help.”
Resident Graham Eardley added: “It’s a sad waste of a life or what could be just adolescents joking about, but it’s not really joking about when you realise that there’s mine workings under the pool, people get trapped and unfortunately yet another person has died.
“It’s difficult to put any markings or fence the pool off. You could put a warning sign up, but will people take any notice of it in the hot weather we’ve been having?
“Hopefully they will and hopefully they will realise yet again that it’s not safe to swim in Ryders Hayes Pool.
“I saw a lot of blue lights, a helicopter going overhead. Lots of sirens going off and people were saying there was a major incident going on.
“I was quite shocked seeing all these ambulances and police cars, thinking what on earth is going on.
“I’ve seen the odd adult even here, but no matter how good a swimmer you are there are mine workings down there and it’s dangerous.
“Just keep out of the pool, now matter how inviting it looks.”
A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said: “Emergency services are at Ryders Hayes Mear off Ryders Hayes Lane in Walsall where a teenage boy got into difficulty while swimming in the lake with friends around 7pm.
“Sadly fire service colleagues recovered the 15-year-old’s body just over an hour later.
“Officers are currently with the boy’s family. Our thoughts and sympathies are with them.”
Four ambulances, police and a fire engine were in attendance, as well as an air ambulance.
Tory councillor Garry Perry, who represents the Pelsall ward, said: “There is a major incident ongoing in what’s commonly known as the Ackers and we should not speculate until emergency services issue a statement, then we should respond accordingly.”
*In 2007, two teenagers tried in vain to save their panicking friend from drowning in the same pool.
Divers recovered the body of Kee-rian White, aged 17, in Pelsall on June 11, the day after he went missing while swimming.
Posting on Facebook, Saskia Spragg said: “RIP our little spency baby loved you like a little brother!
“Funniest and happiest kid, carry on boxing up there and training them squats bab.
“Took way way to soon, ill miss seeing your face all the time&the funny things you did, always look after our hol for u.”
Fellow friend Ewan Watkinson said: “Wasn’t gonna write anything, felt like it’s not my place but RIP little Spencer Hurst. Gone way too soon, top kid and top little boxer!
“RIP young en!”
Charlotte Mills said: “I only saw u Sunday my mate. Spencer Hurst with your big cheeky smile.. can’t get my head around it..
“RIP TAKEN far to soon.. my heart gose out to your family and friends at this terrible sad time.”
Boxer Macauley Owen added: “Sad news of Spencer Hurst passing away…
“I’ve trained with spencer quite a few times over at Pleck abc over the last season, he was a good lad, real shame… RIP Spencer.”
Craig Jennings said: “You never really know whats around the corner, R.I.P spencer hurst such a nice kid and thought are very much with your family!”
Friends left a pair of boxing gloves at the scene of the lake where he died.