OCALA, Fla. – A 17-year-old boy died Tuesday morning after he was injured while cliff-diving at a lime rock quarry in Ocala on Monday, making him the second teenager in two months to die from injuries they suffered while trespassing to swim at Marion County swimming holes, deputies said.
Trey Austin Dagwan Cardozo, of Largo, was found unresponsive at the quarry on Northwest Gainesville Road around 3:45 p.m. Monday before he was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center, where he died from his injuries Tuesday morning, deputies said.
One of the juveniles at the quarry told deputies that they were there to swim and that Cardozo had "jumped off the cliff into the water and never came up," according to a report.
"They've all said there's a YouTube video of some daredevils that have come to Ocala that are jumping off of these rock quarries and then swimming," Marion County Sheriff Lt. Donnie Winston said.
Hours before Cardozo was found unresponsive at the quarry, 13 people were arrested for trespassing while trying to swim at nearby private property, according to the Sheriff's Office. Deputies said three juveniles who said they were swimming in the quarry were also arrested June 25 for trespassing in the same area.
"Where they entered, it's clearly marked no trespassing," Winston said. "For whatever reason, they ignore the signs, they cut through, they park a distance away so we don't see the cars."
Winston said he and another deputy tried to save Cardozo and his friend on Monday as they struggled in the murky green water.
"We could hear the individual yelling, 'Help, help, help, please help me,'" said Winston, who was flagged down by a teenage girl on the side of the road.
That's when Winston said he took action.
"I took off my gun belt, my shirt, my shoes and jumped in and swam out," Winston said.
Winston managed to get to both teens in the water, and discovered one of them was unconscious, with his friend doing what he could to keep him afloat and keep him alive.
"And every time he would attempt to do CPR, he would slide back into the water, so I told him to stop," Winston said.
Winston managed to get the boys to shore, where paramedics were waiting to take them to the hospital.
Winston said he and others in the area want to keep thrill-seeking teens out before another tragedy strikes. That's why he said they've increased patrols in the area, but even the recent deaths and recent measures haven't kept people from sneaking onto the quarry properties.
Cardozo's death comes after 18-year-old Zachary Newton died May 27 while swimming at a quarry behind Hardrock Cycle Park, Marion County deputies said.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office released the following statement Tuesday afternoon.
"The Marion County Sheriff's Office will be proactively patrolling these areas and strictly enforcing state statutes for anyone involved in trespassing at these locations," deputies said. "Cliff diving and swimming in these areas is extremely dangerous and has taken the lives of two young adults with promising, bright futures this summer already. The men and women of the MCSO will do everything in their power to prevent further loss of life as a result of these preventable accidents."