Leicester

Family of diver who died at Stoney Cove thank instructor

The family of a man who drowned at a Leicestershire quarry have thanked an instructor who tried to save their son.

James Askew, 35, of Stockton, Cleveland, was on a course at the National Diving Centre at Stoney Cove when he drowned on 24 January 2009.

Instructor Graham Rowntree dived 115ft (35m) to the bottom of the quarry in an attempt to rescue him but Mr Askew was pronounced dead later in hospital.

A jury at Leicester Coroner's Court returned a narrative verdict.

After the verdict, Mr Askew's family said in a statement: "We would like to thank Mr Rowntree for putting his own life in danger to attempt to rescue our son and that of the other rescue divers and emergency services.

"James died doing the sport he loved.

"Nothing can bring him back to his family but we hope that the findings of this inquest will put in place actions from other divers and diving agencies to prevent further deaths."

A post-mortem examination found Mr Askew had drowned and showed there were no traces of alcohol or drugs in his system.

A spokeswoman from the Health and Safety Executive said an investigation into the incident was ongoing and that she could not comment further on the case.

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