A party of five Kent University Caving Club (KUCC) members set out on an Agen Allwedd anticlockwise Grand Circle trip at 12.00pm on Sat. 12th March.  Their intended time out was 22:00pm.  When they had not arrived back at the cave entrance by 01:00am, SMWCRT were called out.  The group of five had taken a copy of the survey with them on a phone as well as some food and Bivvy bag(s). 

The First Search party of three, including an advanced first aider, set off 04:44am with hot drinks and food.  They entered the cave at 05:17am to travel clockwise to Synchronicity. Here they were to set up a Cave Link to try to contact the surface between 07:00am and 08:00am.  Another group of three set off at 04:59am to lay a France Phone cable from the entrance to the First Boulder Choke. 

 

Two other KUCC students were sent to the entrance with a Hi-band radio.  A Second Search team, also with hot drinks and food, set off at 06:33am and entered the cave at 07:03am to begin an anticlockwise search with the remit to set up a Cave Link at NW Junction then to transmit at 08:30am and so contact the Surface Comms. Team.

 

It transpired that the group of five had reached Synchronicity via the High Traverse but had failed to find the way on into Southern Streamway Passage.  The 2 stronger members of the party left the other group with the phone survey and retraced their steps up Main Stream Passage as they were aware that there would be a Call Out if they didn’t exit on time.  However, having reached the Second boulder choke they were unsure of their way out, they were also very tired.  They were sufficiently equipped that they could bivouac for the night where they thought the Rescue team would be able to find them.  The slower party of 3 tried to find the route back through Southern Streamway Passage but eventually gave up and also began to exit via the Main Stream Passage – rather more slowly.  The first party were found at 08:35am.

 

The incident ran from 02:11am – 15:34pm when it was officially closed and involved 39 personnel.  Thank you to all who took part including those on standby, to CSS for the use of their premises and to Waitrose in Abergavenny who provided us with a generous “donation” so that  both the Rescuers and the rescued could be fed and watered.

 

KUCC were extremely grateful for all that SMWCRT had done.