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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Cave diver's body found after 39 years
SimonRL

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Joined: 27/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Cave diver's body found after 39 years
Posted: 28/04/2010 16:56:09
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Not entirely mine related, but underground never the less.

[web link]

BBC wrote:

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.
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Graigfawr

Joined: 04/11/2009

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Cave diver's body found after 39 years
Posted: 28/04/2010 21:43:21
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Information culled from various issues of 'Descent' via Chris Howes' very complete indices:

Paul Heinz Esser, a CDG member, died 13 February 1971; his body was located late the following day after extensive searches. It appeared that he had transferred from his own dive line to a loose dive line (untied by persons unknown - there were and are many visitors to the cave) and, reeling in this line as he followed it, realised that he had lost a safe retreat route. He was presumed to have then attempted to sum rapidly towards the entrance but ran out of air. Attempts the following weekend to recover his body were unsuccessful. An inquest was held 16 March 1971. A memorial service was held at Ystradfellte Church on 23 May 1971. Late in 1971 a memorial fund in his memory was set up to support an annual public lecture.

It'll be interesting to read in due course in 'Descent' the details of what lead to the decision to recover is body.

Predictable hyperbole in the BBC report: "Porth yr Ogof is regarded as one of the most dangerous caves in Britain" [photo caption]. The reality is that it sees considerable frequent use by youth and other groups; only the resurgence pool is regarded as potentially hazardous due to very deep water and under currents - and it is there that almost all the fatalaties have occurred. The accidents include members of some inadequately equipped groups and at least one heart attack.
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Tezarchaeon

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Cave diver's body found after 39 years
Posted: 28/04/2010 22:34:47
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As cold as this may sound... I'd be very interested to see the condition of the body after 39 years submerged in a cave.

Why did it take so many years for people to re-discover the body anyway? Surely in that time other people had been along the same route?
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Morlock

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Joined: 31/07/2008

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Cave diver's body found after 39 years
Posted: 28/04/2010 23:16:26
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Post removed. IP: 86.23.44.130 Edited: 29/04/2010 04:58:44 by Morlock
Graigfawr

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Cave diver's body found after 39 years
Posted: 28/04/2010 23:16:29
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I gather the location was known but that recovery was too problematic until modern equipment advances and that the deceased family's preference was for divers not to potentially endanger themselves in a recovery. Its the media that seem to have misleadingly begun using the term 'rediscovered'. IP: 89.243.112.191
stuey

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Joined: 15/08/2007

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Cave diver's body found after 39 years
Posted: 29/04/2010 16:41:42
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Interesting stuff.

I reckon the body would be well disintegrated.

Mines would be a different matter. When the microbes have mashed your insides sufficiently to admit mine water, allsorts could happen. One scenario would be that the microbes were killed and you were pickled in a semi-complete state. Depending on the acidity and "load" of the water, your skeleton could either be dissolved or replaced with a mineral, given calcium is probably quite keen on forming sulphates.

Off on a total tangent, I gather someone once found a dog skull which had been replaced with pyrite. I bet that would fetch a few quid on ebay!

I've been meaning to try some displacement experiments with skeletal matter. I recall a fair amount of turquoise is in fact bone derived.....

tangent over Smile

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rhychydwr

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Joined: 09/06/2007
Location: Cwmparc, Rhondda, South Wales, UK.

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Cave diver's body found after 39 years
Posted: 29/04/2010 17:09:29
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More on DP

http://www.darkplaces.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=9072&highlight=

I wonder what Morlock said that he had to delete it? the mind boggles Shocked


--

Cutting coal in my spare time.
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Morlock

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Cave diver's body found after 39 years
Posted: 29/04/2010 17:24:06
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rhychydwr1 wrote:

More on DP
I wonder what Morlock said that he had to delete it? the mind boggles Shocked


Some things are best left unsaid.
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ogof

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Location: Portsmouth

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Cave diver's body found after 39 years
Posted: 29/04/2010 17:26:42
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A bit more information about it here:

http://www.smwcrt.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=99:paulesser&catid=49:teamnews&Itemid=127
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