Folks, many of you have probably heard about yesterday's incident at Lancaster Hole. First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased at what must be a very difficult time.
We would like to pass on our thanks to the Red Rose Cave & Pothole Club for their assistance, and to UWFRA for their additional support - thank you all.
Obviously we can't say too much about the incident as it will be investigated by the Police and the Coroner, so for now, here is the press release statement that we have issued:
Lancaster Hole, Casterton Fell, Cumbria - Cave Incident.
The Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO) were called by Cumbria Police at 1656 hrs on Saturday 4th January 2020 to reports of an overdue cave diver at Lancaster Hole on Casterton Fell, Cumbria.
40 CRO team members and members of the Northern section of the Cave Diving Group (CDG) responded. As well as searching from the point where the cave diver entered Lancaster Hole downstream passage (1), other entrances and possible exits were also searched by team members and a cave diver, in case the diver had emerged from the system elsewhere.
The initial search from the access point was led by another member of the Cave Diving Group, who planned to search the first section of the downstream passage. Other CDG members were preparing to conduct an extended search if this initial search did not locate the casualty.
Unfortunately, whilst conducting his underwater search the rescue diver discovered the missing diver, approximately 60 metres into the sump (2). The casualty was immediately brought back to the sump pool chamber and removed from the water, where it was apparent that he was deceased.
All team members were then instrumental in conducting a lengthy and difficult extraction back to the surface of the fell. The casualty was then conveyed to Bull Pot Farm and handed over to the care of Cumbria Police.
Details of the casualty will be made available by Cumbria Police in due course, but we would like to stress that although the casualty was known to team members, he was not a member of any rescue team or the Cave Diving rescue group. Investigations into the cause of the incident are currently underway on behalf of the Coroner by Cumbria Police.
Once again, our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the casualty.