Six cavers (4m, 2f; ‘early 20s’) were reported overdue on a trip from Lancaster Hole to County Pot. They had gone underground at 11.30, anticipating re-emergence by 19.30. As another party had seen them, well on their way, earlier in the day, the search was concentrated towards County Pot. With no-one found, Lancaster Hole was checked, in case they had been unable to find their way forward and had returned over their now-familiar route. After this was done, a new party was preparing to go into Lancaster Hole when a phone call was received. Three of the missing cavers had emerged from Lancaster Hole but the remaining three were in need of hauling up the 33m entrance pitch. This done, mispers and rescuers returned to Bull Pot Farm by 05.15.
Thanks to RRCPC for the use of Bull Pot Farm as a base. Also to members of the ‘extended cavers’ list’ and caving members of UWFRA, Swaledale MRT and COMRU who were called out in support. Most were stood down en route, which must have been frustrating at that time of night.
Footnote for any ‘Easegill aficionados’: A debate on route-finding around the Stop Pot area caused the group to go to the bottom of the climbs that lead to the entrance of Wretched Rabbit (Currently inadvisable.). They then re-traced their steps all the way back to Lancaster Hole. Having, effectively, done two good caving trips in one, it is unsurprising that some needed a pull out of Lancaster Hole. It seems that they and the search teams missed each other by about an hour in three different places.
Volunteer hours: 189