1980 – Bull Pot of the Witches
Ian Plant lost the line in sump 2 of Bull Pot of the Witches and ran out of air before finding his way out of a complicated area in poor visibility [CDG NL 56].
1980 – Keld Head
Four divers embarked on a training dive. Mark Woodhouse, a relatively inexperienced diver became entangled in the line just before a kicking water airbell 100m from the entrance. On freeing himself he surfaced in the 100m airbell in a state of panic. A second diver was nearby but had to adjust his own buoyancy before offering help. By the time his buoyancy was sorted, the first diver had descended back in to the sump and was presumed to be making an exit. A few minutes later the second diver found the first diver laid on his back without his mouth-piece in place. The second diver recovered the first diver some 50m towards the entrance but was unable to save him. The body was recovered later that day [CDG NL 58].
1981 – Wookey Hole
Keith Potter, a trainee diver, died during a training dive in Wookey Hole. He appears to have lost his mouthpiece a short distance from the surface in chamber 20 [CDG NL 62].
1985 – Hurtle Pot
Derek Crossland, an experienced diver drowned 14m from the surface during a routine dive. Subsequent tests of the equipment found no defects and the cause of the accident is uncertain [CDG NL 75].
1988 – Barbondale
Nick Whaite, an inexperienced 18 year old diver became physically wedged whilst trying to push a tight, unexplored sump with a base fed line. The sump was pumped out and the body recovered with much effort [CDG NL 80].
1992 – Joint Hole
Martin McMahon failed to return from a routine dive to the first airbell. He was later found dead near the entrance on the line with air available. There was nothing obviously wrong with the equipment on later inspection [CDG NL 105 & 118].
1994 – Birkwith Cave
Trevor Kemp, an inexperienced diver, disappeared in the final 20m sump whilst on the through trip from Old Ing to Birkwith with a less experienced diver. The diver was found dead the next day some 3m from the line and about halfway through the sump near a “letter box” constriction. The diver’s equipment was old but was working correctly when checked after the incident. The contents gauge was connected directly to the first stage and not via a hose so it would not have been possible to read the cylinder pressure whilst in the sump [CDG NL113].
1998 – Ogof Pont Y Meirw
Peter Fowler drowned whilst returning from exploring beyond the first sump with another diver. The line had become fouled in undercuts and the diver was found drowned a short distance from surface with no air left in his cylinders. Later examination of his equipment showed one of the demand valves to have a fault [CDG NL 134].
2005 – Low Birkwith Cave
Colin Pryer, an experienced diver, was engaged in a project to revisit a low, silty cave last extended in the 70’s. The diver became entangled in old, loose line and ran out of air before he could free himself [CDG NL 155].