Scuba Diver Found Dead at Tilly Foster Mine

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A man that went scuba diving at the site of the former Tilly Foster Mine in the Town of Southeast was found dead Monday afternoon

The Putnam County Sheriff ’s Office confirmed in a press release the body of Robert Thomas, of Jersey City, New Jersey was found by rescue dive teams after he went diving Sunday afternoon at the mine, which is also referred to as Simon’s Quarry, located off Old Mine Road in Southeast. He was 48-years-old.

Thomas was at the mine with a male and female colleague. At around noon, Thomas dove in and the other man dove in about an hour later while the woman remained at the surface, the sheriff ’s office said. The other male diver surfaced around 3 p.m., but Thomas did not, according to police.

Thomas’ girlfriend called the sheriff ’s office at about 3:50 p.m. to report Thomas had gone diving at the mine and was overdue for a party at her house in Queens. A sheriff’s deputy drove to the mine and saw Thomas’ colleagues who told him Thomas was late resurfacing given his air supply, authorities said.

New York State Police and Brewster and Mahopac Falls Volunteers Fire Departments to search for Thomas. The county’s bureau for emergency service and Brewster Volunteer Ambulance Corps also responded to the scene.

Dive teams used sophisticated sonar equipment to aid in exploring the mine, the sheriff’s office said. The state police dive team found his body around 12:55 p.m. at a depth of 171 feet. Preliminary reports believe Thomas became entangled in wires or cables on the bottom of the flooded mine shaft, according to the sheriff ’s office.

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