Father rescued from Kong Adventure in Keswick dies of his injuries after mountain rescue operation

Family say over 50 people were involved in the rescue and praise the work of the emergency services. Credit: Keswick Mountain Rescue Team/Family member

The family of a man who was rescued from Kong Adventure Centre in Keswick say that he has died from his injuries.

The family of Carl O'Keeffe, 49, from Lancaster say that he died at 3pm on Sunday 30 April.

Mr O'Keeffe was inside the indoor caving experience at Kong Adventure Centre for the birthday party of a family member on Saturday 22 April.

According to reports, he was with four children when he slipped and became stuck. After staff at the centre were unable to rescue him, emergency services were called just after 3pm.

The incident was attended by six crews from Cumbria Fire and Rescue, police, Keswick Mountain Rescue, Cumbria Ore Mines Rescue Unit, Great North Air Ambulance and the Northwest Ambulance Service's Hazardous Area Response Team.

Climbing wall staff, assisted by visiting climbers, dismantled sections of the climbing wall to aid access to tunnels hidden behind the climbing wall panels.

After over four hours, Mr O'Keeffe was rescued and rushed to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle where he remained until his death.

A family member, who was by his bedside since the incident, 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.

"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."

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.”

A spokesperson for Kong Adventure Centre 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."

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