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22-year-old Darrel Teal was killed in a 'tombstoning' accident on Saturday
“HE was a kind, loving boy” who “lived life to the full” – those were the words used by family members to describe Darrel Teal, who died in ‘tombstoning’ accident on Saturday.
The 22-year-old from Booth Drive, Urmston, disappeared under the water after jumping from Devil’s Bridge in Kirby Lonsdale.
Described as an adventurous and sporty man, Darrel had visited the spot with friends when he decided to jump from the bridge above the River Lune.
There is currently a byelaw in place prohibiting people jumping off the bridge.
It is believed Darrel had jumped 30ft into the water, but unfortunately did not resurface. His body was found a short distance downstream by rescue crews, shortly before midnight.
Darrel’s parents, 44-year-old Christine and 47-year-old Shaun say the last few days have been tough.
Shaun told the Messenger: “I got the phone call from one of Darrel’s friends after he’d jumped in and they couldn’t get him out. When they told me, I knew already that he was hurt. I drove straight up there – it was the longest hour of my life.”
Cumbria police, fire and rescue, volunteers from the local mountain rescue team and specialists from the underwater police diving unit all attended the scene, but it is believed Darrel had been knocked unconscious as soon as he hit the water.
Police are not treating Darrel’s death as suspicious.
Darrel was one of three children. His sister, 15-year-old Charlene, and twin brother Dale, are heartbroken: “Charlene was hysterical when she first found out. She’s starting to calm down now, but they’re both really struggling with it – we all are.” said Christine.
Christine, who had been at the Trafford Centre when she heard of Darrel’s accident, said: “He was such a kind and loving boy who would talk to anyone. He lived life to the full – he was so adventurous and would try absolutely anything – he thought he was invincible. He was really sporty. He was always playing football with his friends and he was Manchester City mad.”
Darrel had recently purchased a season ticket for City. His mother, Christine, joked that it was the first time he’d had to pay the adult price.
The former Wellacre Academy and Trafford College student was in the third year of an apprenticeship with Procter & Gamble, where his father works.
Speaking of his son’s death, Shaun urged people to be safe and refrain from dangerous activities such as ‘tombstoning’.
“If you look on Google there are three or four kids who have died there. It looks tempting with the wall, it looks like it would be an easy jump but it’s not, as this has shown – stay away from that bridge!”
Leader of South Lakeland District Council, Cllr Peter Thornton, said: “The council would like to offer sincere condolences to the family and friends of Darrel Teal who died tragically at the weekend.
Devil’s Bridge at Kirby Lonsdale is a popular local beauty spot and this terrible accident underlines the real dangers of jumping off the bridge into very cold water and into a constantly changing underwater environment.”