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18-year-old Chester Rodriguez drowns in Westford quarry once featured in Adam Sandler movie

Teenager drowns while swimming at Westford quarry
Teenager drowns while swimming at Westford quarry 02:06

WESTFORD - An 18-year-old man drowned while swimming with friends at Merrill's Quarry in Westford Monday afternoon.

At about 4:15 p.m., someone called 911 reporting the man jumped into the quarry and did not resurface. State Police said he was attempting to swim across the quarry when he began struggling and went under. 

Firefighters from Westford, Tyngsboro, Lowell, and the State Police Air Wing assisted in the search. At about 5:24 p.m., the Lowell Fire dive team recovered the man's body about 40 feet below the surface. He was later identified as Chester Rodriguez of Methuen.

The quarry is very popular and officials are pleading with folks to stay away.

"We were just here last week for an individual who jumped in," said Westford Fire Deputy Chief Mike Denehy. "Fortunately, he was able to be rescued and is recovering."

This tragedy comes five years after another teenager drowned at the quarry. At the time, officials said the spot had gained notoriety after being featured in the film "Grown Ups 2."

The quarry is in a wooded area on private property. The signs out front clearly state no trespassing, but officials admit people often ignore the warnings.

"It's private property. It's dangerous," Denehy said. "Visibility is maybe four feet deep. You don't know what is down there when you jump in."

Massachusetts State Police said there is no evidence of foul play.

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