Sharing details of our first two call outs of 2017, both on the same weekend (20th and 21st Jan). Thankfully in both cases there was a quick resolve to both incidents with only a few team members required to assist in locating both groups.
First: Friday 20th Jan. Call received from the Police at 23.15 alerting the wardens to an overdue party of four (5 went in but one exited after a short time) in Daren Cilau. The Police sent a constable up to Llangatock to assess the situation. Our local Warden Dan Thorne was quickly on site with Lisa Boore. The remaining wardens were alerted via SARCALL (which worked very well). A few members were put on standby.
The four remaining cavers exited the cave under their own steam and guidance and no assistance was necessary. There was some miss-interpretation of call out times by family members of the group and it was a family member that called the police (note there was an actual agreed call out time left with another member of their club – this call out time was not reached).
Second: 21st January, 21:00 a party of four student cavers plus a leader were just becoming overdue on a through trip, OFD1-OFD Top, they went in at mid day and due out at 9pm
After asking others questions, the group were last seen at the divers pitch at 17.30hrs, making their way to Top Entrance. The leader did not know Cwm Dwr but knew Top ok. They had no survey. The 4 students had not done much caving before!
At 22.05 a small group of cavers and basic kit, were sent down to Maypole inlet to begin a search.
At 22.56 the entire party were found at the Judge and Trident, tired but fine, they were given food and they progressed unaided.
At 23.31 Party excited the cave, 23.58 Incident closed.
They had come up Salubrious passage, where you have to duck under the boulders, the leader did not recognise and thought he had gone to far, they made their way back down to the judge to await rescue. They were also suffering with diminished lights due to the length of the trip.
Several members of the team were called out from the immediate vicinity and also there was a number staying at the Croydon hut, so they were quickly at Penwyllt.
Thanks to all those that were involved.