Local News

Despite dangers, swimmers flock to Eno River Rock Quarry

Posted July 26, 2015 6:33 p.m. EDT
Updated July 27, 2015 5:45 a.m. EDT

— Despite a recent drowning, and no designated swim areas, visitors continue to splash around at the Eno River Rock Quarry.

Funeral services for a 17-year-old who drowned Thursday afternoon in the Eno River Rock Quarry will be held Saturday.

Officials said Lamont Burt Jr. of Raleigh was swimming with friends and family when he jumped off a cliff into water about 70-feet deep. Witnesses said Burt went under and never resurfaced.

Eno fire and rescue crews, rangers and a dive team pulled Burt's body from the water after about four hours of searching.

The quarry and nearby river don't have designated swim areas, and officials are making attempts to warn visitors of the risks.

“The first thing I tell them is we don't recommend swimming in the quarry,” said park superintendent Keith Nealson. “The water is 70 feet deep. There are underwater hazards, we never test the water, there are no life guards, the area is not designated for swimming. When I'm talking to people about the river, it's sort of the same thing, but without the 70-feet deep part.”

Park officials said there have been two drownings at the quarry in the last eight years. But they receive frequent emergency calls for injuries that happen mostly to people jumping off the cliff.

The park covers more than 4,000 acres and more than 30 miles of trail.

According to multiple posts on social media, Burt recently graduated from Broughton High School and had planned to attend Ferrum College in Virginia this fall.