THE CAVE RESCUE ORGANISATION

Cave Rescue Landrover The Cave Rescue Organisation is the oldest such organisation in the world. In On October, 1934, a member of the Moor and Fell Club was injured by a loose boulder when descending Gingling Hole on Fountains Fell. It took 29 hours and a lot of improvisation to get the injured man out of the cave which included taking a local doctor who was a non-caver into the pot to set his leg in plaster. This incident prompted the formation of the Cave Rescue Organisation the following year.
They initially carried out cave rescues only but by the 1960's were carrying out surface rescues as well. Today, most of their call-outs are to surface incidents including mountaineering and walking accidents.
   

Cave Rescue Land Rovers

The C.R.O. sometimes assist in major incidents throughout the north of England and in other areas.
Cave rescue in the eastern area of the Yorkshire Dales and Wharfedale are nowadays carried out mainly by the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association who also conduct mountain rescues.
The C.R.O. liase with the police and other emergency services. The initial 999 call is to the police who will call out cave rescue and the police are usually present during a rescue.
The C.R.O. sometimes use dogs trained by the Search and Rescue Dogs Association (S.A.R.D.A.) in search operations on the surface.
Cave rescue groups along with mountain rescue teams are voluntary organisations and nobody is invoiced for a rescue, although cavers who go down during bad weather can expect a stern talking to from the police if they had to be brought out after being trapped by flooding. The C.R.O. is financed mainly through voluntary donations.

The dangers of caving are obvious but each cave is different and caving can be as difficult or as easy as you wish to make it. Many rescues take place in 'easy' caves because they attract inexperienced cavers such as school and university parties. Indeed the last three months of each year is called the 'Silly Season' by the C.R.O. due to the number of students who get stuck. 

Getting lost is a risk in some of our more extensive systems such as Easegill, but can also happen after coming out of the cave at night and the C.R.O. are often called out to cavers lost on the moor.

C.R.O. Headquarters, Clapham.

Cave Rescue Headquarters