Man found dead in flooded cave near Kirkby Lonsdale

image copyrightCRO
image captionMore than 40 rescuers were involved in the operation

A man has died in a flooded section of one of England's largest underground cave networks.

The body of the cave diver was found at Lancaster Hole, near Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria, on Saturday evening.

Emergency services were called shortly before 17:00 GMT after a man in his 40s was reported as being overdue.

More than 40 members of the Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO) and Cave Diving Group (CDG) were involved in a search.

Lancaster Hole is an access point to an extensive network of interconnecting underground limestone caves called the Three Counties System, which span Cumbria, Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales.

Diving trip

A CRO spokesman said: "As well as searching from the point where the cave diver entered Lancaster Hole, other entrances and possible exits were also searched by team members in case the diver had emerged from the system elsewhere.

"Unfortunately, whilst conducting an underwater search a rescue diver discovered the missing man, approximately 60m into the cave passage.

"Investigations into the cause of the incident are currently under way on behalf of the coroner by Cumbria Police."

A force spokesman added: "The man, who is believed to be from the Lancashire area, was visiting Casterton Fell on a cave diving trip.

"The next of kin has been informed and the death is not believed to be suspicious."

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