By David Laycock • 01 May 2023 • 17:20
Kong Cave Adventure , Keswick
Credit: Jing Liang/ Google Maps
Having become stuck in a fake cave system at the Kong Adventure Centre in Keswick, Cumbria on Saturday, April 22, a father and much-loved brother Carl O’Keeffe, sadly died of his injuries in hospital in Carlisle yesterday, April 30.
Carl O’Keefe, 49, was attending a child’s birthday party and happily playing with the kids when he slipped and became trapped. Although an experienced climber, he was stuck for four hours, with staff unable to free him.
Because of the nature of the place in which he was trapped, local mountain rescue teams were called to the scene as well as cave rescuers and other emergency services. Keswick Mountain Rescue, who attended the scene alongside the air ambulance, fire crews and cave rescuers, said he got stuck in a narrow tunnel at Kong’s climbing wall.
It took four hours of combined effort to free Carl, with centre staff also coordinating to remove panels to aid access. Rushed to Carlise infirmary for treatment, it became clear that Mr O’Keeffe had been crushed.
It became apparent the injuries Carl O’Keeffe suffered were severe and he was then moved to a quiet room to die a dignified death accompanied by his sister, Olivia Short.
Despite what appears to have been a well-organised multi-departmental response, the injuries suffered meant that Carl’s life was beyond saving. Described by his family as a brilliant man, a devoted parent and a strong advocate for the neurodiverse community, he will be sorely missed.
Ms Short wrote a tribute to Carl in which she said: “At 3 pm today (Sunday, April 30) I sat with Carl and said goodbye forever. He was my baby brother and over the last few years became my best friend.” she added at the end of her post: “I’m broken-hearted. As are the rest of our family.”
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Dave Laycock has always written. Poems, songs, essays, academic papers as well as newspaper articles; the written word has always held a great fascination for him and he is never happier than when being creative. From a musical background, Dave has travelled the world performing and also examining for a British music exam board. He also writes, produces and performs and records music. All this aside, he is currently fully focussed on his journalism and can’t wait to share more stories from around the world and beyond.
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