Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 48 total)
  • Successful conclusion to a mega cave rescue
  • Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Full Member

    Just wanted to thanks everyone involved in this mammoth effort over the past 3 days. Proud to have played my small part and very happy to see the casualty safely delivered to the ambulance.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/nov/08/mission-rescue-man-brecon-beacons-cave-wales

    I am not so sure what the outcome may have been had we come across this scenario 😉

    Premier Icon Yak
    Full Member

    Great work! I did wonder if you were involved, I’m sure you had said that you were in SMWCRT.
    Anyway, looked like a tremendous effort.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    Brilliant effort.
    Poor bloke must have been in a state.
    Did you come across any cheddar?

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Full Member

    No cheddar. Though I was told that my jokes were a bit cheesy.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Free Member

    Awesome effort, he’s lucky to have so much expertise available and willing to drop everything and drive hundreds of miles to help.

    Caving absolutely terrifies me!

    Premier Icon fasthaggis
    Full Member

    Good job.

    Did you come across any cheddar?

    Bet they used some Barn-sawn oak as props.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Full Member

    That is awesome.  250 is a huge number of people to coordinate and keep running. Such a great job

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    Aye, amazing job, well done!

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Fantastic story and testament to the skill and commitment of the caving community.

    You are all **** insane, obviously.

    Premier Icon jambourgie
    Free Member

    Amazing. Great news!

    Weirdly, I was reading about the sad Neil Moss incident last night. Left me quite glum but this has turned the tables 🙂

    And yeah, cavers are nuts. Just. Nope. Claustrophobia overload. Love reading about it though.

    Premier Icon pk13
    Full Member

    Good work. but why do silly people squeeze down mud encrusted holes next to water.
    I may or not have problems with small spaces

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Full Member

    Official Team press release and pics can be seen on Facebook.

    https://www.facebook.com/smwcrt

    Premier Icon blastit
    Free Member

    Elon not offer any help ?
    Good bit of PR to be had

    Premier Icon nbt
    Free Member

    Another big vote of thanks here. what you folks do is awesome. Slightly insane, but awesome

    Premier Icon freeagent
    Free Member

    Just looked at the FB pics – Amazing effort – you should be proud to have been part of it.
    Great result as well.
    I hope the guy you rescued makes a full recovery and shares his story.

    Premier Icon esselgruntfuttock
    Free Member

    I’m not claustrophobic but there’s no way cave rescue people would need to come to my aid. (not in a cave anyway)
    A customer of mine once called for petrol & I noticed some dive tanks in the back, I said, ‘do a bit of diving then?’ (a mate of mine was keen) & he said, ‘yes, cave diving’.
    WTF is all that about?

    Premier Icon bigdaddy
    Free Member

    Well done to all involved – just thought I’d add that they are after donations to cover the immense cost of this operation, I’ve donated, if anyone else feels inclined, you can through the above Facebook page. It’s going pretty well at the moment!

    Premier Icon Rich_s
    Full Member

    yes, cave diving’.
    WTF is all that about?

    A whole bag of nope from me.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36097300

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Free Member

    Sid Perou’s old films about people pushing the limits of Cave Diving from the 70s and 80s are frightening stuff. You clearly need a certain mindset…

    Premier Icon easily
    Free Member

    I’ve done a very small amount of cave diving, then decided it wasn’t for me. The amount of training you need to do to keep yourself safe and not endanger others wasn’t worth the reward for me. Also, two very experienced and reliable divers I knew had separate incidents – one got out, the other didn’t make it. I knew his wife and baby son as well, and it was enough to put me off.
    It’s great when a community come together like that to help someone in trouble – again, something I’ve experienced a couple of times as a diver. It’s amazing how egos suddenly seem not to matter much (well, except for Musk’s), and everyone simply finds something they can do to help then gets on with it, wether that’s actually being involved in the physical rescue or just waiting with boiling water and a first aid kit.

    Well done to all involved, no matter how insignificant your part may have seemed.

    Premier Icon Edukator
    Free Member

    Back in 1983 I fell down Maple Inlet in OFD (35′ apparently) doing quite a lot of damage but not enough to stop me climbing out again and self-rescuing. Thankfully Mr. Peter Harvey, President of South Wales C.C., and finder of OFD 1 fell a few minutes later in the same passage and required rescuing so my efforts never made headlines other than in the club magazine. I’ve just found the article which is now on-line.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Full Member

    I’ve sent them a donation – but was surprised that the process didn’t give any opportunity to use Gift Aid to boost the value to them (they are a registered charity). So if anyone else is thinking about a donation and want to Gift Aid it, maybe contact them first and find out how.

    Premier Icon montgomery
    Free Member

    Good timing. I’m in a tent on the ground above OFD and it’s hammering down, the streamway will be getting very sporting about now.

    Good read on a 1960s caving disaster that had a less happy outcome.

    Premier Icon muddyjames
    Free Member

    Good work WF. How did you know he was there/ find him?

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Full Member

    How did you know he was there/ find him?

    The chap was not caving alone and one of his party was able to quickly exit the cave and raise the alarm. He was not that far from the middle entrance to the system which is only 100 m from the caving club headquarters. Unfortunately this entrance is narrow and tortuaous and it is impossible to bring a large caver out that way if they are in a full stretcher. Given the nature of the injuries sustained we had to place him in a full stretcher on a spine board, meaning our only option was to leave via the top entrance. Unfortunately that is a good 2 miles of caving which normally takes about 4 hours for a fit competent party to negotiate!

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Full Member

    Amazing work, well done and congratulations all round for everyone involved. Those volunteers who risk themselves to help rescue others are very special indeed – cave rescue, mountain rescue, and the RNLI, we’re extraordinarily lucky to have such people in this country.

    Good work. but why do silly people squeeze down mud encrusted holes next to water.
    I may or not have problems with small spaces

    😱

    A friend of mine, who’s also done some caving/ potholing, was describing Swilden’s, and negotiating the sump – just thinking about it makes me start to hyperventilate, the thought of doing that I find truly terrifying.

    Premier Icon Edukator
    Free Member

    Any idea where in the system it was, Welshfarmer? My woopsie was

    Maypole inlet not Maple inlet.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Full Member

    Any idea where in the system it was, Welshfarmer? My woopsie was

    Maypole inlet not Maple inlet.

    The Maple inlet made me smile. I just put it down to your age lol (I also was kind of semi rescued from the main streamway back in 1983, though we weren’t late or injured, but merely using a carbide lamp due to multiple hire-lamp failures in our group!). Anyway, I digress.

    The accident occurred in a series of narrow rifts not far from the Upper Smithy, a few hundred metres after the boulder-choke on the Cwmdwr entrance series. I accompanied the first doctor to reach the casualty in to the cave on Saturday evening and it took about 40 minutes to reach him. Unfortunately a return through that route is impossible with a stretcher due to numerous tight corners and crawls which make it impossible for anyone with suspected spinal injuries to be manoeuvred through. Due to the tight nature of the rifts and the many small climbs and drops in that area, it took a good 12 hours just to get the stretcher out of the rifts where the fall happened and onto the somewhat easier and well trodden trade route between Cwmdwr and Top Entrance. To do this route for a average party of fit cavers would take 4 hours. With a stretcher underground we use a 10X factor, so were working on 40 hours. This is more or less exactly how long it took from that point to extraction.

    On my second shift early on Monday morning I was part of the haul team to pull the stretcher up the 30m rescue pitch above Maypole inlet (where you fell all those years ago) and into the higher series, thus avoiding the tortuous thrutching passage along the MP inlet. We moved the stretcher then through the narrow passages and over the top of the Maypole rift into the bottom of Salubrious where we we met by a large relief party. The passages from that point on get much easier and larger and there was an awful lot of manpower available. I left the cave then at about 3 o’clock thinking they might be out by 6. It took them an addition 2 hours though. Those last 2 hours I spent sat on top of the mountain in a bivi shelter manning the underground Cavelink* device and relaying messages back to the command centre via VHF radio.

    * The Cavelink units are small very low frequency devices that use an active antenna to send a signal though several hundred metres of solid rock. Rather than tried to send speech they simple work as an SMS system and have proven incredibly effective and robust. A real game changer in underground comms.

    Premier Icon nbt
    Free Member

    Greybeard wrote:

    I’ve sent them a donation – but was surprised that the process didn’t give any opportunity to use Gift Aid to boost the value to them (they are a registered charity). So if anyone else is thinking about a donation and want to Gift Aid it, maybe contact them first and find out how.

    As I’m not on Facebook I don’t have the opportunity to donate via the link on the facebook, but they do have this on their website

    https://www.smwcrt.org/j32/index.php/fundraising

    Also don’t forget, if you are a taxpayer, fill in a gift aid form when you are making a donation. These are available from the Treasurer or Fundraising Manager, or by clicking the link below.

    Gift Aid Declaration Form1

    I don’t know if you could perhaps retrospectively send a PDF to them?

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    Amazing work.
    I really admire folks who have the ability to control or subdue the natural tendency to panic in that sort of environment.
    What a brilliant team effort and outcome.
    Well done you all. 👏

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Full Member

    Thanks, nbt.

    I don’t know if you could perhaps retrospectively send a PDF to them?

    I did actually use the Donate button at the top of the page on the website, but I didn’t scroll down far enough to find the Gift aid form. I’ll send it retrospectively and suggest they tweak the page layout to allow for idiots.

    Premier Icon b230ftw
    Free Member

    “ The Cavelink units are small very low frequency devices that use an active antenna to send a signal though several hundred metres of solid rock. Rather than tried to send speech they simple work as an SMS system and have proven incredibly effective and robust. A real game changer in underground comms.”

    Is there no one else who thinks this is awesome?

    Well done to all involved, just seen pictures on BBC news, very impressed!

    Premier Icon Edukator
    Free Member

    Thanks for the detail, Welshfarmer. It felt quite epic doing that route on a trip without incident and no stretcher to haul. There must be a lot of knackered but happy rescue team members today.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Full Member

    ^ Yes, great detail Welshfarmer.
    BITD, we did OFD and Little Neath as a big weekend out for us. Longer/different to our usual Mendip outings. Happy days.
    But OFD Cwmdwr to the Top Entrance with a stretchered casualty? Doffs cap. Top work.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    I am a little in awe of this and a lot terrified!

    well done you lot!

    Premier Icon montgomery
    Free Member

    Race Against Time by Jim Eyre and John Frankland is a good account of the history of the CRO. I don’t think you’d have to be an active caver to enjoy it.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Excellent work welshfarmer! Another one who wondered if you were helping there. Will sort out a donation when I get home tonight.

    I used to help raise funds for the Brecon Beacons MRT and knew a few of them back when I was a teenager, absolutely brilliant bunch of people that would go help anyone they could. A lot of them did/do mapping of new cave networks in their spare time and were highly skilled at what they did. I did go down an easy cave with them once and while it was fun it was very obvious how quickly things could go very wrong if you didn’t know what you were doing or took any shortcuts. That was enough for me, I’ll stick to the tourist stuff like Dan Yr Of from now on!

    Premier Icon anjs
    Free Member

    Always great when there is a good outcome. I have had the misfortune of seeing a death at Porth yr Ogof

    Premier Icon Houns
    Full Member

    Well done WelshFarmer and everyone else involved

    Premier Icon pondo
    Full Member

    Well done welsh farmer and everyone else involved – caving is literally the stuff of nightmares for me!

    I once read a book about the cave diver Dave Shaw, and I’m sure it mentions in passing a diver who got separated from colleagues on a dive and was found weeks later with his scuba gear off in an air pocket – the idea of being trapped in the pitch dark with air and water and slowly starving to death is my idea of hell…

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 48 total)

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