Climber who fell into world’s deepest cave found dead halfway down 1.3 mile drop

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The body of a climber who fell to his death in the world's deepest cave will be recovered after it was found nine months after he disappeared.

A team of around 100 climbers are preparing the complex recovery from the Veryovkina Cave in Abkhazia, Georgia.

The dead climber, named by local media as Russian Sergei Kozeev, went missing in November last year.

His body was discovered on August 3, after cavers noticed rope at the entrance to the cave. They then saw some of Mr Kozeev's belongings before coming across his body.

It was found hanging from a rope about 1,000 metres into the vast 1.3 mile cave.

The Union of Cavers asked missing person's organisation Lisa Alert to help establish the identity of the deceased using photographs found on a phone discovered by the body.

Evgeny Snetkov, a member of the Board of the Union of Cavers told Radio Sputnik that he believed Mr Kozeev was a tourist who had not adequately prepared for the challenges of the cave.

He added that descending into such a dangerous cave alone is a gross violation of safety regulations.

Mr Snetkov said: "The deceased was a so-called multitourist, who are involved in different sports.

"So he decided to take up speleology (the study or exploration of caves), but, unfortunately, he chose a difficult cave, which ruined him."

It has not been determined whether Mr Kozeev died after falling or from hypothermia, with the temperature dropping to almost freezing in the cave.

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The operation to retrieve the body will be technically difficult but experts are prepared to tackle it if granted permission by the Russian prosecutor's office, Mr Snetkov added.

Mr Kozeev's wife has asked that the expedition goes ahead.

The Veryovkina Cave is considered to be the deepest in the world. In 2018 a team of Russian cavers descended almost to the bottom of the cave, a depth of 2,212 metres.

  • Russia

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