Cave diving rescue in France

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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby Squirrel Girl » Oct 9, 2010 3:56 pm

Hokey Smokes, That's AWESOME! Best wishes to all!
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby ursuvictor » Oct 9, 2010 5:31 pm

did he write any message on his scooter, or tank(s)? - I guess that would have helped a lot

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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby Chads93GT » Oct 9, 2010 7:39 pm

Amazing.
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby Harald Franzen » Oct 10, 2010 2:23 am

ursuvictor wrote:did he write any message on his scooter, or tank(s)? - I guess that would have helped a lot

Victor


I don't have any information on that. At this point in time 09:00 hours local time on Sunday, there's no further information from SSF (Spéléo Sécours), but I expect a bulletin somewhere this morning as divers were set to leave for the restriction last night.

However, I have at least one observation that -although speculative- I would like to share with you.
This guy has been down there for the better part of a week, but yesterdays' events (him diving towards the obstruction and placing a tank there) tells me two things:
a) he still has a working rebreather (and hence, gas).
b) he still has at least one working light (in total darkness, I would assume it to be virtually impossible to negate a tank through the bit of space left in the restriction successfully).

That last thing would mean that, although in darkness for about a week, he is -if at all- only sparingly using lights to conserve batteries.

*IF* my assumption is right, than this guy is very switched on and cool under the circumstances...

The other thing: the communication (tapping signals) that went on was at the 780 meter restriction: this would almost certainly mean that Eric would have been right on the other side of it. Question now is: where is he sitting? He left with 400 meters of line last Sunday, which in theory would have enabled him to extend the line from 1040 meters (previous end-of-line) to the *assumed* end of the cave / dry part at 1300-1500 meters. If he is indeed that far back, it is shear luck he "met" the rescue divers at 780 meters (and he'd have had a fair dive yesterday -from (assume) 1400 meters back to 780 and then again back to +/-1400 meters). The other possibility would be that he has found an air bell (much) closer to the 780 meter restriction. We'll see....
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby Harald Franzen » Oct 10, 2010 3:03 am

10.00 hours local time.

Good news again.
This is in the media where they are quoting the Prefect of the Ardèche (more or less the governor of a state, for US readers).
They have been able to localize Eric's position as being in an air bell 300 meters from the 780 meter restriction.

At the end of this morning, divers will go in to try and deliver more materials (a watch, food, messages) in sealed containers in the hope of getting those to him.

At the same time, they will commence drilling a hole from the surface towards his exact location (IIRC it's about 70 meters of drilling) so they can get him food and supplies in a more expedient manner and they can start communications going.

Please note: it's the media quoting the Prefect. I will post once Spéléo Sécours publishes a bulletin.


EDIT: and they need to get a move on: http://france.meteofrance.com/france/me ... lle/071130
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby Harald Franzen » Oct 10, 2010 3:51 am

SSF Bulletin of 10:00 on Sunday morning doesn't provide the informations that were in the media (see posting above) pertaining the exact localization of Eric.
However, all of the other information above seems to be accurate.
Swiss divers are setting out this morning for a setup-dive preparing for another dive planned for Monday.
They will also take survival gear, communication equipment and (!) a tracking device as used yesterday to establish the exact location from top-side.
All this in anticipation Eric might show up at the restriction today too.

The dive tomorrow is geared towards "forcing" a narrow passageway past the restriction and is to be conducted by three English divers (one of which is now on his way from the UK to France).

Top-side digging was stopped for the night in order to apply "listening techniques". I am assuming at this time that this might have resulted in a more precise localization of Eric, but that is not specifically mentioned in the bulletin. Apparently, the analysis yesterday of the underground has provided more details on the exact lie of the cave, as the digging towards the expected dry-zone in the cave will continue today. At this moment, they have progressed to -21 meters.
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby Squirrel Girl » Oct 10, 2010 5:42 am

Thanks for the frequent updates, Harald. BEST WISHES to all!!!
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby Evan G » Oct 10, 2010 9:25 am

Amazing! Hope all comes out well! Thanks for the updates.
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby yvonnedroms » Oct 10, 2010 2:21 pm

Thank you Harald for taking over the updates while I was gone! :)

Mainly for my own records, I'll post a summary since Friday.

Oct 9 2010 Saturday evening update from Speleo Secours:

The British divers who dove on Saturday morning returned with good news. At the 780-m obstruction, they found a dive bottle that had not been there before. Eric is obviously alive and had enough energy, air/gas and light to return to the site of the obstruction, and left his dive tank as a signal to show that he was alive.

He may have he used up too many ressources during this dive to allow him to return to the 780-m point, but just in case he can (this depends on where he found refuge out of the water), rescuers will bring in a container with survival equipment as soon as possible, and place it at the location where the dive tank was found.

A window above the obstruction point was also noticed during the Brits' dive. The next team will examine it closely in order to evaluate the chances that it might bypass the obstruction.

Oct 10, 2010 Sunday morning update from Speleo Secours:

Digging continues in the natural fissure on the plateau, and the diggers have now reached -21 meters.

On the plateau, drilling operations (small-diameter hole) will start in the most likely location to find air-filled passage 200 meters lower. This location was determined with help from the information from the beacon placed at the 780-m point by the divers yesterday, as well as other hydrological and geological analyses, listening techniques, interpretation of where Eric could have found refuge, etc.

A Swiss diving team went in today, to bring in relay bottles for tomorrow's planned dive, and to bring in survival, communication, and localization equipment to the site of the obstruction, in case Eric manages to return to it. Tomorrow Monday, a team of British divers plans on enlarging the window discovered above the obstruction, in the hope that it will bypass the plug.

All in all, very good news. It's been over a week since Eric got trapped.

-Yvonne
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby paul » Oct 10, 2010 2:29 pm

Excellent news!
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby yvonnedroms » Oct 10, 2010 3:07 pm

Speleo Secours update October 10, 2010 Sunday 8 PM French time:

The Swiss divers returned around 6 PM French time today. They placed relay bottles for tomorrows dive, and were able to insert a container with survival equipment as well as a Nicola two-way cave radio into the narrow slot in the obstruction.

The rescuers have also set up a Nicola radio on the surface above the cave and it will be manned day and night. If Eric returns to the obstruction and retrieves the container, communication can be established!

In the dig at the vineyard, work is ongoing, and explosives are being used to open up access to a void that is visible at -26 m. They still have the air, a good sign for a connection with the cave below.

Drilling of a shaft has also started, but it's having technical problems, so a larger drilling rig is being considered.

Tomorrow's dive will start mid-day, and will employ mixed technique: open air and rebreathers. The open-air technique allows to pass through a narrow crevisse more easily than back-mounted rebreathers, by mounting the bottles on the side of the body. The British team will attempt to enlarge the window found above the obstruction, then if there is enough time, dive through it in an attempt to contact Eric beyond.

-Yvonne
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby Harald Franzen » Oct 10, 2010 3:58 pm

Yvonne Droms wrote:Tomorrow's dive will start mid-day, and will employ mixed technique: open air and rebreathers. The open-air technique allows to pass through a narrow crevisse more easily than back-mounted rebreathers, by mounting the bottles on the side of the body. The British team will attempt to enlarge the window found above the obstruction, then if there is enough time, dive through it in an attempt to contact Eric beyond.

-Yvonne


Welcome back Yvonne; your French seems to be loads better than mine; I will leave you to it :-)
Just to elaborate on the above point: in essence, they will move in on rebreathers until the restriction, then switch to side mount (we are talking -46 meters after a hefty dive) and then try to negate the restriction side mount. That -to me- is a stunning proposition and I am very curious and anxious to see if and how it will work out....

Cheers,


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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby Martin Robson » Oct 11, 2010 3:28 am

I am in phone contact with one of the Brisitsh divers there and had a couple of phone messages yesterday explaining what they had planned for today. I am hoping to hear back from them as soon as thier dive is completed and if so I will post how the dive went.
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby Squirrel Girl » Oct 11, 2010 3:52 am

Martin Robson wrote:I am in phone contact with one of the Brisitsh divers there and had a couple of phone messages yesterday explaining what they had planned for today. I am hoping to hear back from them as soon as thier dive is completed and if so I will post how the dive went.


Great. Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Martin? Are you back in the UK now? I'm headed back to FL for a quickie 4 day trip soon.
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Re: Cave diving rescue in France

Postby Martin Robson » Oct 11, 2010 4:15 am

Yes, back in UK. Won't be over to Fl until Feb next year, but off to France in a little over a week.

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