Saturday, May 01, 2010

Cave Diver's Body Recovered After 39 Years


The body of a student cave diver, which has lain in one of the UK's most dangerous cave systems since his death 39 years ago, has been recovered.

Paul Esser, a medical student at Bristol University, was just 21 when he disappeared in the Porth yr Ogof cave system at Ystradfellte, Powys in 1971.

His remains were finally recovered a week ago by two members of the West Brecon Cave Rescue Team.

Powys coroner Peter Maddox recorded a verdict of accidental death.

According to reports following Mr Esser's death in February 1971, it was understood that he had followed the wrong line as he made for an exit, and ran out of air.

A spokeswoman for Dyfed Powys Police said: "Although he was located at that time in the caves, his body was never able to be recovered despite several attempts over the following weeks and as a result he has remained in the location he died."

Family members, who were living in Surrey at the time of his death, were at the scene as his remains were finally brought to the surface on Thursday, and released to hold a funeral.

Recording the accidental death verdict, the Powys coroner said the cause of death remains "unascertained".

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