Coiled rope strands NZ cavers

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Coiled rope strands NZ cavers

Postby Cheryl Jones » Sep 12, 2005 5:51 pm

Coiled rope strands Takaka (NZ) cavers


Three experienced cavers were stranded underground for more than 30 hours at Takaka Hill after a rope they had relied on was left coiled out of reach.

Danielle Gemenis, of Christchurch, Bruce Mutton, and Andrew Smith, of Nelson, all in their early 40s, were found about 2.40am yesterday by members of the Motueka Cave Search and Rescue team.

The group entered the Green Link-Middle Earth cave systems about 10.30am on Saturday but at 11.30pm realised they were stranded, and were forced to wait for rescue.

Mutton said travelling through the linked caves took about 18 hours, and the one-way trip included two sump dives.

At one point, the route depended on a rope that had been laid in advance several weeks ago but was inadvertently left coiled out of reach by another group of cavers.

"We were a bit annoyed because we had left it there especially and it had been changed," Mutton said.

With no way to proceed or return, the trio was forced to wait for rescue. "We weren't warm enough; it was quite cold and we had to cuddle together.

"We basically found a nice, warm, dry place to set up a little campsite and spent a few hours trying to find alternative routes out or find another passage.

"There were a couple of climbing options, but ... it was too dangerous."

Mutton was part of a group that made the link between the two caves about 15 years ago.

The weekend's exploration was only the second time the expedition had been done.

They were well equipped with supplies, and some had been through the waiting game before.

Mutton was stranded in the same cave 13 years ago and was forced to wait 18 hours for rescue.

"I thought, `Here we go again'. I guess many cavers have been caught by something. So, it felt a bit familiar."

Motueka police were alerted at 9.30pm on Sunday and the cavers were found fit and well, said Senior Constable Gerry Tonkin of Motueka police.,2106,3408513a10,00.html
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Cheryl Jones
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Postby chaz » Sep 12, 2005 9:34 pm

All the more reason to let someone know where you're going and when you plan to get back. Even competent cavers with a good plan can have something unexpected happen! Glad everyone was OK.
Respect the past and learn, Be active in the present and enjoy, Contribute to the future in a constructive manner. Chaz NSS 55321
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Postby filox1 » Sep 14, 2005 1:46 pm

Also if you find a rigging in a cave and it is not yours leave it as you find it!!!

That is been also an issue on cave diving, with a couple of in¡cidents of people retriving other persons spools or reels left on the cave, and as you can imagine, the consecuences of a missing spool or reel that marks the way out is kind of serious. If they are there, almost always there is a reason for it. If someone had to abandon it do to an emergency, let him go and recover it latter.....

Be safe :wink:
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