On Sunday 3rd October, French Cave Rescue (Speleo Secours Francais or SSF) were alerted to an overdue diver who’d been exploring the Dragonnière Gaud cave near the town Labastide de Virac in the Ardeche region of France. The whole of the known cave is submerged and the diver had been planning to push beyond the known limit of the cave at 1040m. There are only a small number of cave divers in Europe capable of running rescue operations at the depths and distances involved in Dragonière Gaud so, on monday 4th October, SSF alerted the national cave rescue bodies in Britain, Switzerland and Italy. The request having been passed to us via the BCRC, and after a lot of frantic phone calls setting up the logistics and insurance, 2 SMWCRT members were flown to the Ardeche by RAF helicopter and joined the rescue operation. Latest developments suggest that there has been a collapse in the cave passage 780m from the entrance and that the missing diver is trapped behind it. There are strong indications that he is alive and taking refuge in an air bell somewhere beyond the collapse. The collapse itself has been deemed too dangerous to pass and, while divers continue to explore underwater options, a team of diggers is attempting to break into suspected dry cave from the surface. More information and regular updates can be found on The SSF website