Father-of-three who got trapped in indoor cave at adventure park dies from his injuries

1 May 2023, 20:07 | Updated: 2 May 2023, 08:39

A father-of-three who got stuck in an indoor adventure cave has died from his injuries eight days after the incident.
A father-of-three who got stuck in an indoor adventure cave has died from his injuries eight days after the incident. Picture: Facebook

By Chris Samuel

A father-of-three who got stuck in an indoor adventure cave for over four hours has died from his injuries.

Carl O’Keeffe, 49, had to be rescued from the simulated cave experience at Kong Adventure Centre, in Keswick, after becoming stuck for over four hours.

Emergency services were called called just after 3pm, and teams from Cumbria Fire and Rescue, Keswick Mountain Rescue, Cumbria Ore Mines Rescue Unit, Great North Air Ambulance and the Northwest Ambulance Service's Hazardous Area Response Team, attended the scene.

Read More: 'I saw him die': Sister of father 'crushed to death' in indoor cave left 'traumatised' after seeing tragedy

They eventually managed to reach Mr O'Keeffe, who was then rushed to Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle with severe injuries.

His family announced on Monday that he died around 3pm on Sunday following the incident last weekend.

Paying tribute to Mr O'Keeffe, his family said: “Carl was a devoted parent and he will leave a huge hole in their lives.

“He was a strong advocate for the neurodiverse community. He taught people to learn what adjustments they needed in life and to not only accept them but to live them.

Read more: 'Final' rescue flight for British nationals trapped in war-torn Sudan

“He was often seen in dark glasses and a fedora hat as he was photophobic. He had a brilliant mind and was in the process of applying to start an astrophysics PHD.

“He was fascinated by solar storms and had been predicting the one that happened this week while he slept. He spent years having the NASA Hubble photos tattooed onto his arm.”

Writing on Facebook, Mr O’Keeffe‘s sister Olivia Short said: “At 3pm today I sat with Carl and said goodbye forever.

“He was my baby brother and over the last few years became my best friend.

Mr O'Keeffe died from his injuries eight days after the incident
Mr O'Keeffe died from his injuries eight days after the incident. Picture: Facebook

“I loved him dearly and we were in contact daily doing word challenges and exchanging weird facts of nature. I also got to spend alternate weekends with him and his children.

“I have been with him since his accident in Keswick on Saturday, April 22. He was taken to Carlisle hospital intensive care with crush injuries.

“It became apparent that the injuries were severe and he would not be able to survive. He was then moved to a private room and I was able to stay with him so that he could die with some dignity.

“I’m broken-hearted. As are the rest of our family.”

A spokesperson for Kong Adventure, said: "All the staff at Kong Adventure are shocked and saddened to hear this terrible news.

"Our thoughts at this time are with the family, friends and everyone involved."

A spokesperson for Cumberland Council said: “We have been notified of an incident that took place at the Kong Adventure Centre, Keswick, and are investigating the matter, as the regulating body.”

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