INCIDENT 13/2020 – Feb. 29th. Sat. 22.15hrs – Rowten Pot, Kingsdale – Cave Incident

During their re-ascent of the vertical Rowten Pot, the first of a party of 3 cavers became stuck at a point where their access rope was re-belayed to ring anchors embedded in the wall of the pothole. From the description given later, it seems that the caver had loaded all his weight on to a short lanyard, or cowstail, at the re-belay but then found himself unable to unload this weight in order to further ascend, or descend, the rope. He was stuck there for several hours, with his 2 companions trapped below him. The 3 cavers were part of a larger group who were exploring other caves and potholes nearby. Later in the evening, companions of the Rowten Pot party became concerned and went to the cave entrance to check. Realising there was a problem, they called for the assistance of CRO and also got a knife down to the stuck caver. As CRO were mobilising, the stuck caver had cut his lanyard and had been able to descend back down the access rope to a ledge. By this time he had become very cold and was exhausted. CRO team members descended the pothole, where they treated the stuck caver for mild hypothermia. Additional ropes were rigged and he was hauled to the surface. The other 2 in the party were able to make their own way out of the pothole and all 3 were escorted down to the valley under their own steam.

Volunteer hours: 54