How to call us out
- Dial 999
- Ask for GLOUCESTERSHIRE POLICE
- Then ask for CAVE RESCUE
- Be prepared to give as much information as possible about the location of the cave, the cavers involved and the injuries sustained.
- STAY BY THE PHONE
- A Cave Rescue Warden will call you back for more details
How to avoid needing to call us out
Anything you can do to make your trip safer reduces the likelihood of you needing to call us out and potentially putting our team members at risk
Know where your cave is and how to get round it
- Know where your cave and parking spot are and how to get there - have a look at the RFDCC website (it has loads of helpful info on this)
- Make sure you have a laminated cave survey and take it underground with you - preferably with a compass
- Ask someone that has been there before about any pitfalls
Have the correct equipment
- Do you need a ladder? - have you got a lifeline and someone who knows how to use it?
- Do you need to rig for SRT? How much rope? How many carabiners? Have you got some spares just in case?
- If working on ropes/ladders have you got a rescue kit?
- Have you packed enough food and water?
- Always carry a sling and HMS carabiner - it's amazing how often it is useful
- Has everyone got a charged light, spare light and spare batteries?
- Have you got a small first aid kit?
- Have you got some spare warm kit in a dry bag?
Set a sensible Call Out
- Set call out (with someone who knows how caving works if possible)
- Work out how long the trip should take you - make sure to include time to get back to phone signal and some fudge factor for getting lost
Make sure the person doing callout for you has all the information
- Your car registration and where it is parked
- Which cave you are going to and your expected route
- What time you are planning on being out and your call out time
- Name of your party leader and how many in the group
- Trips can take different amounts of time with different groups. Keeping a logbook of all the trips you have done and how long they have taken you can help you work out how long a trip might take.
Check the weather...
...and know how your cave of choice is affected
- Look at what the previous weather has done - some caves fill up slowly due to the shape of the catchment area
- Use any local knowledge - e.g. if river X is high then the cave is impassible at point Y
- Make observations - check how high the water levels are, is it cloudy and looking like rain?, what colour is the water (if it is brown then it may be in flood)
- Check the weather forecast
Go with someone qualified/get qualified yourself
Qualifications are available through the British Caving Association and are detailed on their Training page. Alternatively military cavers also have a separate training scheme. Try not to stray too far from your comfort zone.