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Emergency response in Eryri’s underground complex: Missing cavers found safe

A dramatic emergency operation unfolded in Eryri (Snowdonia) on Saturday as a pair of cavers were reported missing within the intricate Croesor-Rhosydd mine complex. The two adventurers became stranded at an underground lake, triggering a swift response from the North Wales Cave Rescue Organisation (NWCRO). The incident occurred on August 19, prompting around 20 NWCRO team members to mobilize in search of the overdue cavers.

The underground lake, spanning an impressive 50 meters, forms an integral part of the Croesor-Rhosydd mine complex, offering a unique challenge to explorers due to its array of obstacles, including pits, bridges, and zip wires. In a gripping turn of events, the missing cavers were hindered when a boat, crucial for crossing the expansive lake, became jammed within the cave system, rendering them unable to retrieve it.

The response teams strategically approached the cave from both Tanygrisiau and Croesor entrances, determined to locate the cavers and ensure their safe return. As events unfolded, one of the missing individuals emerged from the depths, alleviating the need for a full-scale search. A spokesperson from NWCRO explained, “During the course of the incident, one of the missing persons managed to exit the system and was able to provide further details to the team.”

Elaborating on the ordeal, the spokesperson continued, “They explained that an in-situ boat used for one of the lake crossings had become jammed and they were unable to retrieve it, forcing them to retrace their steps. During this, the second person had become exhausted and was unable to climb the final pitch out of the system.” Fortunately, although stuck, the second caver remained uninjured.

To ensure the safety of future explorers, experienced cavers recommend carrying personal inflatable boats when embarking on adventures within the Croesor-Rhosydd complex. These precautionary measures can prove vital should unforeseen challenges arise with the available equipment.

The incident has ignited discussions about the management and accessibility of the site, particularly on social media platforms. Seasoned explorers have advocated for a more regulated approach to safeguard both adventurers and the natural environment. Concerns were voiced that insufficient management could lead to tragic outcomes, potentially undermining the efforts of those who have worked hard to prepare the site for exploration.