Mendip Cave Rescue were called by Avon and Somerset Police at 11:58 on Sunday 29th April 2018 for an incident in Sidcot Swallet in Burrington Combe. A party of three had entered and explored the cave and one of them became unable to climb out of the Lobster Pot on the return journey. After several attempts at extricating himself, the two other cavers left the cave and called the Police for assistance. Mendip Cave Rescue attended, with two Wardens entering the cave and providing an extra “foothold” so he could climb the Pot. Mendip Cave Rescue were supported by Avon Fire and Rescue and South West Ambulance HART team, and the incident was closed at 13:18 with everyone safely back on the surface.
Mendip Cave Rescue were called by Wiltshire Police at 00:40 on Monday 11th September 2017 for an incident at Monkton Farleigh stone mine. A party of two people had entered the mine at around 20:00 the previous evening and were very overdue for their callout. MCR contacted four local cavers, who assembled at the mine entrance at 01:25, and two of these conducted a sweep search of the main passageways within the mine whilst the other two provided surface support and coordination with the emergency services. At 02:00 the missing party safely arrived at the surface, having enjoyed a much longer trip than they had planned. By 02:45 the underground search party also arrived back at the surface and the stand down message was then sent to the MCR wardens to bring the incident to a close at 03:05.
Mendip Cave Rescue were called by Wiltshire Police at 19:45 on Sunday 20th August 2017 for an incident at Monkton Farleigh stone mine. One member of a party exploring the mine had become separated from the rest of the group underground and had not returned to their vehicle with the others. After a quick search for their missing person, the remaining members of the party called for help. On receiving the initial call from the police, MCR contacted a number of local cavers who knew the stone mines well, who quickly organised a more thorough search of the mine, whilst MCR wardens were put on standby in case a more protracted search was required. Happily, the missing person was found after a few minutes, a little lost but safe and unharmed, and escorted to the entrance. The stand down message was then sent to the MCR wardens to bring the incident to a close at 20:49.
Mendip Cave Rescue were called by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue service at 23:20 on Sunday 13th August 2017 for an incident at Box stone mine. Two young explorers had become lost whilst underground, and found themselves behind the newly erected gate at Lady Hamiltons entrance, unable to get out, but within signal range for their mobile phone so they were able to summon help. A small team of experienced local cavers who know the mines well attended the scene and quickly escorted the pair to the surface via an alternative nearby entrance, and apart from being cold and tired, they were unharmed and the incident was closed at 00:15 on Monday morning.
Mendip Cave Rescue were called by the police at 16:40 on Thursday 3rd August 2017 for an incident at Burrington Combe. A 16 year old male was stuck in 'Superman Squeeze' in Boulder Chamber, just inside Tradesmans Entrance to Goatchurch Cavern. This is a squeeze in a short passage that can be bypassed, and so it was possible to get people to either side of the casualty. Eventually the casualty was freed by moving a large boulder slightly and using drills and 'plug and feathers' to remove some rock from a boulder that was trapping him. Once he was freed the casualty was able to walk out from the cave, and he exited the cave unharmed and none the worse for his ordeal at 19:50.
Throughout this rescue operation, Mendip Cave Rescue worked with representatives from both Avon Fire & Rescue Service and Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, South Western Ambulance Service HART Paramedics and Avon & Somerset Police, with the road through Burrington Combe closed for a few hours whilst the rescue operation was underway. This successful rescue has been reported in the local press.
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