Mendip Cave Rescue were informed at 16:57 on Saturday 6th November 2021 and put on standby for a major incident in Ogof Ffynnon Ddu ("OFD"), a major cave system in South Wales. A caver had sustained significant multiple injuries after a fall, at approximately 13:00 in the Smithy area of the cave and a protracted rescue had commenced, coordinated by our colleagues in South & Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team. Over the course of the following 48+ hours, numerous MCR members attended the incident, working alongside members of other cave rescue teams from across the country, and assisted in slowly and carefully moving the casualty along the streamway and up and out of the OFD top entrance. The casualty was successfully taken to the surface and handed over to the waiting paramedics at 19:45 on Monday 8th November, approximately 55 hours after he had sustained the fall. Throughout this rescue, the casualty had shown remarkable resilience and we wish the casualty all the best for his recovery.
This incident was the largest cave rescue in the UK for many years, and attracted a large amount of media attention from various media sources, including the BBC, the Guardian, MREW and the Metro. South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue have provided more details on their Facebook page.
Mendip Cave Rescue were called by Avon and Somerset Police via SARCALL at 00:49 on 21st October 2021, concerning an overdue party visiting Eastwater Cavern in Priddy. A mixed group of 5 cavers were trapped beyond the entrance boulder ruckle due to rising floodwater. Mendip Cave Rescue worked alongside Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service and the police for this incident. The fire service used pumping equipment to lower the water levels, whilst the water levels were also naturally dropping due to improvements in the weather. This allowed a group of 4 from Mendip Cave Rescue to enter the cave, locate the trapped party and escort them out of the cave. They were unharmed and were taken back to the Wessex Cave Club HQ at Upper Pitts to change and warm-up (thanks to the Wessex for their hospitality). The incident was closed at 04:28 and was attended by 7 MCR members in total.
Mendip Cave Rescue received a SARCALL message from Avon and Somerset Police at 01:31 on 19th November 2020 on behalf of their colleagues from Wiltshire Police (who don't currently use SARCALL) for an incident at Box Stone Mines, concerning a group of 4 people reported lost in the mine. The 4 explorers had entered the mine the previous day and found their way through to the "Bat Grill" entrance, which is currently bolted shut preventing their exit, where they managed to get a mobile phone signal to call for assistance, and used the What 3 Words application on their phone to report their location. Five experienced local cavers who know the mine well were able to attend the scene and quickly located the group from the surface and provided them with "space blankets" to keep them warm. Three of them then entered via another nearby entrance and made their way to the group to escort them to the surface. The incident was closed at 04:06 with everyone safely back on the surface.
Mendip Cave Rescue were called by Avon and Somerset Police via SARCALL at 20:50 on 5th November 2020, concerning an overdue party visiting Single Way mine at Bathampton. Whilst MCR wardens were preparing to respond, further information came through that the missing party had been located by their cars by officers from Avon and Somerset Police, and the incident was closed at 21:03.
Mendip Cave Rescue were called by Avon and Somerset Police via SARCALL at 10:50 on 9th September 2020 for an incident in Wookey Hole Caves in Wookey Hole. A male visitor in his 80s was complaining of breathing difficulties during the show cave tour. South Western Ambulance Service were also called, and after an assessment by the SWAS paramedic the casualty was able to walk out of the showcave to a waiting ambulance. One MCR warden attended along with ambulance service, and the incident was closed at 11:33 with the casualty safely escorted to the ambulance.
Page 1 of 7