Quarry owners ‘keeping quiet’ amid tragedy

Preston Hill Quarry. Pic by David Wardle
Preston Hill Quarry. Pic by David Wardle

Attempts to prevent another tragedy at Prestonhill Quarry hinge on whether the site’s ‘invisible’ owners can be tracked down.

That was the conclusion reached by a multi-agency safety group which assembled on Friday in response to the death of 18-year-old John Mackay on June 18.

A second teenager - Cameron Lancaster (18) - also died at the quarry near Inverkeithing in August last year.

The meeting, which involved emergency services, Fife Council and Inverkeithing Communnity Council, comes after notices served earlier this year on Letham Bay Development Company were returned.

While legal advice is being taken to identify the site’s owners, fencing is being re-erected at the quarry and vandalised signage replaced, but this is being significantly damaged within 24 hours.

Helen Doig, community council chairman, welcomed the meeting and underlined the need for everyone to work together to find a more lasting solution.

She said: “Finding the owners of the site is the key to resolving this situation, but unfortunately it is they who are keeping quiet to a situation that is leading to such tragic circumstances.

“There is a careful line that we must all tread in terms of the legalities of the situation we all find ourselves in.”

“Outwith this, the meeting got everyone round the table to see what we can do as individual agencies and together. We are also calling for the community to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to try and avoid another tragedy at this site.”

Immediate efforts are being made to educate school children of the dangers of playing and swimming at the quarry before they break for summer holidays tomorrow (Friday).

Helen added: “The group will meet again in a month to keep engaged with each other and keep the community informed.”