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Tributes after youth drowns 'during ice bucket challenge'

TRIBUTES have been paid to a teenager who drowned at a quarry as his death was linked to the fundraising craze known as the 'ice bucket challenge'.

CAMERON LANCASTER: Plunged 80ft from rocks into quarry water.
CAMERON LANCASTER: Plunged 80ft from rocks into quarry water.

Friends raised the alarm after Cameron Lancaster, 18, from Burntisland, Fife, vanished under water at Prestonhill Quarry, Inverkeithing, on Sunday after plunging about 80ft from the rocks above. His body was recovered about four hours later.

It is claimed he jumped feet- first into the water in response to the internet craze that has seen people around the globe pour buckets of ice water over their head for charity.

The tragedy comes two years after the coastguard condemned so-called "tombstoning" jumps at the quarry, warning it could result in serious injury or death.

In a statement his family said: "Cameron died in a tragic accident. His death is such a great loss.

"During his short life, he touched so many people with his friendliness, kindness and thoughtful generosity of spirit. He will be hugely missed by his family and friends.

"The family are finding it hard to come to terms with this sudden loss."

Local councillor Alice McGarry, who lives 150 yards from the quarry, said she had seen several videos posted on Facebook last week of groups of people in their 30s and 40s jumping into the quarry.

She said: "Some of them were to do with the Ice Bucket Challenge. This seems to be what they were doing last week.

"People go swimming there when the weather is good and for generations they have been jumping off the cliff into the quarry.

"There was a fatality there decades ago of a young boy, who I understand was climbing the cliff.

"What happened on Sunday is a tragedy and my thoughts are with his family and also his friends who were with him at the time."

The SNP councillor added that it was difficult to know how to deal with the dangers of the quarry.

She said: "I have been asked the question a number of times over the years. When the quarry had owners, they put a fence around the top of the cliff and a fence at the bottom but people got through it.

"I don't know what fence could go up that would protect the whole of the quarry. If people want to go there and swim they will find a way to do it."

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the former Inverkeithing High School pupil's death.

One friend called for the quarry to be filled in following the tragedy. She said: "If they don't restore that quarry after what happened yesterday then they never will."

Iain Yuile, head teacher of Inverkeithing High, said: "Everyone at the school is shocked and saddened by the news. Cameron was a very popular pupil who had a great passion for drama and music. In June he performed at our annual school awards ceremony. Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time."

Two years ago there were warnings of a serious accident when a film clip, titled Inverkeithing Quarry Big Jump, was posted on YouTube during hot weather. The jumper is given a countdown before taking the plunge into the water.

Fred Caygill, of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said at the time: "Jumping from height into unknown depths of water from cliffs, from a quarry face, bridge or harbour wall is foolhardy and dangerous.

"In past years we have seen people killed and seriously injured from undertaking such activity.

"If people want to jump from height into water, I would advise them to go to their local swimming pool, where there is a diving board."

Contextual targeting label: 
Transport Tragedy

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