Paula Blakemore’s Fateful Descent in the Enigmatic Depths of Dorothea Quarry

Paula Blakemore’s Fateful Descent in the Enigmatic Depths of Dorothea Quarry
Incident LocationDiver Full Names
Dorothea Quarry, WalesPaula Blakemore

At 43 years old, Paula Blakemore was not just an experienced diving instructor but a passionate adventurer with a particular fondness for deep wreck diving. Her love for exploring underwater worlds, combined with her genuine warmth, made her a beloved figure among her students.

Paula Blakemore
Paula Blakemore

One of Paula’s former students attested, she conducted and instructed the course in a professional yet friendly manner. Paula made the course interesting, fun, and as always drilled in the safety aspects.” Another praised her flexibility in teaching and how she made mastering diving skills an achievable feat.

Paula’s Passion for Deep Wreck Diving

Paula’s true passion lay in deep wreck diving, a love that blossomed further after completing her rebreather course. Her adventurous spirit aligned perfectly with her husband, Mike Blakemore, who shared her enthusiasm for diving. Together, they explored sunken ships, uncovering the mysteries that lay beneath the ocean’s surface.

Discovery of Dorothea Quarry

One day, Paula heard about a quarry in Wales named Dorothea, rumored to conceal the wreckage of old huts, cranes, cables, and tunnel sections. Intrigued by its mystery, Paula was determined to explore it, marking the beginning of a tragic turn of events.

The Fateful Dive

On March 15, 2007, Paula and her dive buddy, Graham Owen, arrived at Dorothea Quarry. The cold, dark waters posed a challenge, but their excitement and confidence overshadowed the quarry’s reputation as a dangerous dive site.

Unfortunate Events

As they descended, the murky waters impeded visibility, and jagged rocks made navigation treacherous. Six meters (20 ft) into the dive, Graham signaled to abort due to ear-clearing issues. It was then they discovered a ruptured valve diaphragm on Paula’s rebreather.

Paula’s Desperate Struggle

In a series of unfortunate events, Paula vanished into the depths. Graham found her clinging to a ridge at 40 meters (131 ft) below the surface, tangled in the marker buoy’s rope. Paula, breathing from Graham’s equipment, fought to free herself as the situation grew more dire.

Tragic Outcome

Despite Graham’s efforts, Paula disappeared again. The search and rescue operation ensued, with Paula’s husband, Mike, helpless on the surface. The police divers launched an extensive search, hampered by the quarry’s depth.

Discovery of Paula

After days of searching, an underwater robot equipped with sensors and cameras discovered Paula trapped in a narrow tunnel 300 ft below the surface. Despite the risks, the rescue team successfully recovered her body, concluding a grueling search.

Legacy and Reflection

Paula Blakemore, remembered as a brave and passionate diver, left an indelible mark on the diving community. Her tragic fate serves as a grim reminder of the dangers posed by Dorothea Quarry. Despite safety measures, the allure of the unknown continues to draw divers, leaving the outcome uncertain.

Paula’s Husband’s Reflection

Mike Blakemore expressed his disbelief, stating, “I’m numb. She was such a good diver, and I just can’t believe this has happened to her.”

Dorothea Quarry’s Deadly Legacy

Dorothea Quarry, known for claiming many lives, remains a mysterious and deadly place. Despite efforts to secure its depths, divers continue to be drawn to its allure. The ongoing struggle between divers and Dorothea raises questions about the need for additional safety measures.


As the diving community grapples with the dangers posed by Dorothea, there is a collective hope that measures will be taken to ensure the safety of those who choose to explore its depths. The tragic legacy of Paula Blakemore serves as a poignant reminder of the risks involved in the pursuit of underwater adventure.

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How deep is Dorothea Quarry?

Around 100m deep.

Rebecca Penrose
Rebecca, an experienced blogger, delves into the world of diving accidents, sharing insights, stories, and valuable lessons learned. Dive in and explore the depths of underwater safety.
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