Over 300 volunteers have worked together to rescue a seriously injured caver who spent several days stuck in a cave system deep underground.
At 14:10 on Saturday 6th November, South & Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team were called out to assist a male caver who sustained incapacitating
injuries following a fall in the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu cave system in the Swansea Valley.
The experienced caver was with two fellow cavers when the accident happened.
The cavers’ injuries and his location deep underground resulted in the longest stretcher carry in British cave rescue history.
Over 300 volunteers from 10 rescue teams across the UK, working with the full-time emergency services, spent 54 hours manoeuvring the seriously injured caver through technically challenging terrain towards the surface.
At 19:45 on Monday 8th November, the casualty finally exited the 62km system and was assessed by Cave Rescue Doctors and the HART team before being transferred to hospital for further treatment.
A spokesperson for South & Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team said:
‘The extraction of an injured caver from such a complex cave system creates many challenges, including negotiating small tunnels, climbs,
rivers and continuously uneven ground.
‘SMWCRT would like to extend their thanks to the volunteers and our colleagues in the emergency services who have worked tirelessly, not only to support the casualty and associated underground logistics, but those working behind the scenes to feed and support the many rescuers involved.
‘Thanks also go to local shops, businesses and the South Wales Caving Club whose contributions have kept the Team running.
‘On behalf of everyone involved, we would like to wish the casualty a swift recovery.’
South & Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team is a voluntary organisation assisting people and animals in need underground.
The Team relies on donations from members of the public to fund their essential life-saving rescue service.
Donations can be made through the Team website www.smwcrt.org
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