Daughter pays tribute to father who lost life in Yorkshire Dales cave

A rescuer at the mouth of the cave. Photo: Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team.

The daughter of a man who died after falling in a Yorkshire Dales cave has paid tribute to her father.

Harry Hesketh, 74, was exploring a cave in Curtain Pot, on Fountains Fell, on Saturday when he fell.

Almost 100 people were involved in a 17-hour attempt to rescue the caver, however Mr Hesketh, known as Eski in the caving community, sadly died.

His daughter Wendy Uchimura yesterday paid tribute to the retired computer programmer who lived near Skipton, and the volunteers who tried to save him.

She said: “My dad was extremely active and, with his nearly 60 years of experience, loved nothing more than getting out on the fells and exploring caves and potholes.

“My deepest thanks go to everyone who came out to try and help him – the cave rescue organisations, the rescue teams, air ambulance, and individuals.

“Their incredible efforts are greatly appreciated.”

Mr Hesketh was exploring with two others when the accident happened.

It is believed he suffered a broken femur in the fall.

An appeal by the Clapham-based Cave Rescue Operation (CRO) to replace kit that had to be left behind during the rescue operation has now raised more than £10,000.

A CRO spokesperson said: “This incident took in excess of 1600 man hours, virtually every piece of caving equipment in our stores, and, a large quantity of medication and medical supplies, all provided by ourselves.

“It also involved us being able to feed and water almost 100 people into the early hours of this morning.

“Due to the severity and urgency of the situation, a lot of equipment was sacrificed expedite the potential extraction of the casualty.”

For more details on the appeal, click here.