Durham students in drunken cathedral roof-top rescue

Four Durham students rebuked by dean after drunken prank goes wrong

A senior church figure has issued a strong rebuke after four students had to be rescued from his roof by the emergency services when a drunken prank went wrong.

Two fire crews and a police helicopter were called to Durham Cathedral after the university students clambered on to the Dean's House last Friday night, with the rescue estimated to have cost several thousand pounds.

The Dean's House is part of the cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century and has protected status as a world heritage site.

It is believed the students were mimicking "night climbers" from Oxford and Cambridge who scale walls and buildings for a dare, but they got stuck and were unable to get down.

The helicopter was needed to locate the students on the cathedral buildings.

The Dean of Durham, the Very Rev Michael Sadgrove, said: "I cannot deny that I am deeply concerned that the cathedral has been treated with such disrespect, that Durham University has been brought into disrepute and that the taxpayer has had to bear the costs of a wholly unnecessary emergency call-out.

"But what most worries me is the reckless disregard the students had not only for their own lives but for others, in particular colleagues here at the cathedral and members of the emergency response team.

"Alcohol has obviously played a key part in this dangerous adventure and it is vital that this issue is addressed for the sake of good relations between Durham city and the university, and the welfare of the students themselves.

"Ironically it was other Durham University students who alerted cathedral security staff to the incident. Thank you to them, cathedral staff and the emergency services."

Durham Police said the students have received a warning for their behaviour.

A force spokeswoman said: "I can confirm that police and fire brigade were called to a group of students who were on the roof of the Dean's House on Friday evening. These students were helped down by police and fire brigade.

"They attended Durham police station on November 6 to meet the neighbourhood police team and were given a warning regarding the consequences of their actions."

The university is investigating the incident.

Professor Graham Towl, pro-vice-chancellor and deputy warden of Durham University, said: "We are taking this incident very seriously and are currently investigating it in accordance with our internal procedures which includes liaison with the emergency services."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you a recent graduate loo...

Guru Careers: Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant

£16 - 20k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant is needed to ...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor