Dramatic rescue in Peak District cave

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A rescue team used divers for the first time in 20 years to free three people trapped inside a flooded cave.

Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation was called out after a trio of cavers failed to return from a trip into Gautries Hole, north of Buxton.

Heavy rain had caused a section of passage close to the entrance of the cave, near Castleton, to become completely flooded, leaving the three people with no means of escape.

As water levels rose the rescue team raced to the spot the visitors found to wait for help.

Volunteers had to use underwater breathing apparatus to get them out.

Bill Whitehouse, from the DCRO, said: “They were very experienced cavers who knew what had happened and what the consequences were.

“They did exactly the right thing and found somewhere to hold-up until help came.

“Once they were beyond the flooded part of the cave they were quite safe - it’s just they couldn’t get out.”

The team chose to use diving equipment because the water level was not going down and more heavy rain was forecast, meaning they could have remained trapped for a long period. Mr Whitehouse said it was unusual for the cave to be totally flooded.