The rescue took place in a disused mine at Aber Las. Photo: Peter Craine CC-BY-SA-2.0

The rescue took place in a disused mine at Aber Las. Photo: Peter Craine CC-BY-SA-2.0

The body of a caver has been found after a major operation involving rescuers from across the UK.

The man, believed to be from Leicestershire, got into difficulties yesterday while cave diving in the Aber Las mine in north Wales.

Emergency services were alerted by his two diving companions about 1.50pm and ambulance staff, who had originally been contacted by the pair, alerted police.

North Wales Cave Rescue Organisation was called to the scene, where the diver had collapsed beyond a flooded section of the disused slate mine.

North Wales CRT requested the help of the Clapham-based Cave Rescue Organisation in North Yorkshire and a major rescue exercise began.

A CRO spokesperson said, as well as the two cave rescue teams, the operation involved North East Wales Search and Rescue, Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation, the Cave Diving Group, Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association, a Sea King helicopter from RAF Leconfield, and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

The CRO said the man’s body was found in a flooded section of the mine, which is south-west of Llangollen.

A team spokesperson said: “CRO helped to co-ordinate calling out rescue divers from around the UK, and supplied on-scene dive control with a small team and diving equipment being flown by RAF helicopter from Clapham to the mine.

“Further air bottles and personnel travelled by road in support. Unfortunately a body was located some 300m into the sump by the rescue divers and recovered in stages to the surface.”

North Wales Police Temporary Chief Inspector Siobhan Edwards said: “We, along with the mountain rescue teams including Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation and Newsar attended.

“The expertise of the North Wales Cave Rescue Organisation was also used along with divers from the Cave Rescue Organisation who are based in North Yorkshire. The latter were transported to the scene by a Sea King helicopter from 202 Squadron RAF Search and Rescue.”

“During the early hours of this morning the body of a man was recovered from the disused quarry.

“The next of kin have been informed.

“North Wales Police are not treating the death as suspicious at this time; however officers will continue to undertake inquiries on behalf of the coroner. A file will be submitted in due course.”

North Wales Police thanked the organisations and volunteers who helped.

The Cave Rescue Organisation returned to its North Yorkshire base at 5.30am today.

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