York & North Yorkshire

Caver's daughter praises Yorkshire Dales rescue efforts

Harry Hesketh Image copyright Mike Thomas
Image caption Rescuers spent 17 hours trying to get Mr Hesketh out of the cave

The daughter of a caver who died despite a 17-hour attempt to rescue him has thanked those involved.

Harry Hesketh, 74, from near Skipton, fell and broke his leg inside a cave at Curtain Pot on Fountains Fell in the Yorkshire Dales.

A rescue team of 90 people tried to get him out of the cave but was hampered by poor access.

Mr Hesketh's daughter, Wendy Uchimura, said the team had made "tremendous efforts" to try and save her father.

"I'd like to thank everyone involved, the caving organizations, and the whole caving community for their tremendous efforts to evacuate my dad," she wrote on Facebook.

"He will be truly missed, but his family and friends know you all did your best. Thank you."

Mr Hesketh had been part of a group of three cavers when he fell about 20ft (6m), according to the Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO).

The two people he was with left to summon help and one returned to stay with him.

The CRO said the cave, which was not mapped, was very narrow, which made it difficult to get Mr Hesketh out and he died shortly before they could extract him.

Image copyright Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO)
Image caption The CRO said the attempt exhausted most of its equipment and supplies

The organisation said the attempt to rescue Mr Hesketh had taken 1,600 volunteer hours and involved a number of other organisations, including mountain and fell rescue teams.

The attempt used almost every piece of the voluntary organisation's equipment.

An appeal to try and replace its equipment and supplies has raised more than £10,000 in two days.

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