Caver dies after breaking his leg in 20ft fall despite 17-hour rescue attempt involving 94 volunteers
- The unnamed victim was one of three people exploring the cave on Fountains Fell, near Settle in North Yorkshire
- Narrow passages in the unmapped caves hindered attempts to rescue him
- The other two cavers went for help before one returned to the casualty
Published: 20:01 EDT, 2 June 2019 | Updated: 04:42 EDT, 3 June 2019
A man died yesterday during a 17 hour rescue operation involving 100 people after he broke his leg when he fell 20ft inside a cave.
Rescuers said narrow passages in unmapped caves in the Yorkshire Dales hindered attempts to reach him and he died before he could be brought to the surface.
The unnamed victim was one of three people exploring the remote cave on Fountains Fell, near Settle, North Yorkshire.
A man died yesterday after breaking his leg in a 20ft fall deep within a cave – despite a 17-hour rescue operation involving almost 100 people
This shows the conditions experienced by the rescue team as they made there way to the remote spot inside the cave
The other two cavers went for help before one returned to the casualty.
The Cave Rescue Organisation said: ‘Unfortunately, due to the nature of his injuries and the extended time needed to create a navigable way out, the casualty… died just prior to the extrication beginning.
‘As an exploration site, the cave was not mapped, nor were the passages of sufficient width to allow extrication of an immobile casualty.’
The CRO said the operation, which began just before 1pm, involved 94 volunteers for more than 17-and-a- half hours, including nearly 70 at the site itself.
Initial rescuers realised that extrication would ‘require major engineering work simultaneously at many places along the length of the cave, as well as fully rigging for rescue’ so the team called in reinforcements from a number of other groups in the region.
Rescuers said narrow passages in unmapped caves hindered attempts to reach the man and he died before he could be brought to the surface
The statement said: ‘In the meantime the casualty was provided care by a team doctor assisted by trained casualty carers, who monitored his condition, as well as packaging him for the eventual extrication.
‘We would also like to extend our thanks to Yorkshire Ambulance Service and YAS HART team and to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who remained in close touch in readiness to provide immediate air evacuation in the event of a successful extrication, which sadly was not to be.’