Mendip Cave Rescue
*** Under the circumstances with the recent government announcement and the growth in cases of coronavirus this meeting has been cancelled ***
As agreed at the last MCR meeting, the next MCR meeting will be held on Tuesday 17th March at the Hunters Lodge Inn, Priddy at 20:00. All are welcome to attend these open meetings.
Alan Gray, the Secretary of Mendip Cave Registry and Archive, has been collating reports of all caving rescue and incidents located in the Mendip Cave Rescue region, from early reports of an incident in Pen Park Hole in 1669 through to the current day. All these reports, plus newspaper articles and extracts from log books, have been compiled into a book giving a thorough history of the cave rescue incidents that have taken place over the last 350 years, along with some information about how cave rescue equipment has evolved over the years. All of Alan's hard work has resulted in a 750+ page PDF book, that is available as a free download from the MCRA website.
Mendip Cave Rescue were called by Avon and Somerset Police to an incident at St Cuthbert’s Swallet, Priddy at 18:31 on Sunday 1st March 2020, following a group of 5 cavers being reported overdue from their trip. On inspection it became clear that the constricted cave entrance had become impassable due to high water conditions. With Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue teams diverting water, using portable pumping equipment, the water level was lowered sufficiently to allow cave rescue team members to enter the cave and make contact with the overdue party, who were located beyond the wet entrance passages, cold, but otherwise safe and well. With the water level considered still too high for a safe exit further pumping was carried out before it was deemed safe to assist the cavers through the constricted entrance passage to the surface. Once out of the cave, the cavers, who were all now very cold and wet, were quickly assessed by the waiting South Western Ambulance Service personnel before leaving. The incident was completed by 21:44 and involved 17 cave rescue team members together with the attendance of a large contingent of Police, Fire and Ambulance personnel.
Mendip Cave Rescue were called by Avon and Somerset Police at 14:00 to attend a caving incident in Rods Pot, above Burrington Combe. The initial report indicated a single casualty who had sustained a knee injury as a result of a slip whilst on the return from an excursion to the deeper regions of the cave. A MCR team of rescue and medical specialists were deployed underground. Casualty assessment was carried out by MCR medical team which included specialist casualty care operators and a cave rescue doctor. The injuries were treated and stabilised at the scene of the underground accident and the casualty was able to make their way out of the cave with the assistance of the cave rescue team. On arrival at the surface, the casualty was assisted to the nearest access road and handed over to the awaiting South Western Ambulance Service ambulance by 16:34.
MCR would like to thank the emergency services personnel who helped and supported during the rescue. MCR would also note the resilience that was shown by the casualty which assisted the rescuers and helped to ensure a rapid return to the surface.