Author Topic: The Great Aggy Rescue  (Read 1446 times)

Offline mrodoc

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The Great Aggy Rescue
« on: January 19, 2021, 12:58:00 pm »
Yesterday, January 18th was the 40th anniversary. How many of you out there were involved in it and what can you remember?


Offline Jopo

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Re: The Great Aggy Rescue
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2021, 03:41:15 pm »
I certainly remember Pete. The commitment of so many cavers, surface support and the army for food throughout 3 days was astounding. Two busted stretchers were instrumental in me designing the Slix stretcher range and the MRC (as was) asked me to modernise the Mike Mitchell designed Little Dragon. Not a rescue I will forget.

Jopo

Offline Judi Durber

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We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life waiting for us.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Online mikem

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Re: The Great Aggy Rescue
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2021, 04:35:31 pm »
You may have to find copies of the articles listed!

Search for 410 here: https://bec-cave.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=68&Itemid=508&lang=en

Offline ptpeaty

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Re: The Great Aggy Rescue
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2021, 10:30:30 am »
I remember that rescue well. To have an accident like the casualty suffered (broken tibia) beyond the waterfall in Southern Stream Passage was not a good place to be, and on getting the phone call from rescue on the Saturday evening I thought ‘Oh no, why there?’ or maybe something slightly more profane perhaps.

The stretcher used then was the usual Neil Robertson stretcher, modified with ametal frame and it was heavy, so just getting it to the accident site took some effort. Bringing it back fully loaded with the casualty, through the confined passages was a long arduous slog. For a lot of people on that rescue, it was the first time they had ever been down SSP and I think several swore never to return there. By the time we got the stretcher to Aggie’s entrance series, evacuation of the casualty was quite swift as the passages were literally filled with people and we were able to pass the stretcher quickly.

The turn out by cavers responding to the call out was brilliant. If memory serves me well, the casualty exited the cave at around 1300hrs on the Monday, having had the accident at 1400hrs on Saturday.

The casualty subsequently made a good recovery from his ordeal and joined Chelsea S.S. remaining a member until the early 2000s. He and his wife travel all over southern America and Africa working there, and still keep in touch with the old lags at CSS.

Offline JohnMCooper

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Re: The Great Aggy Rescue
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2021, 11:06:54 am »
I was staying at Whitewalls on my own that weekend and was just getting ready to head down to the Brit when 2 cavers came in and reported the accident. I immediately drove down to Llangattock, the nearest phone box, and dialled 999. When I was put through I stressed that I thought it was going to be a big rescue. Went in with the first rescue team and stayed with the casualty until the first doctor arrived. Went in again Monday morning. All I wrote in the Whitewalls logbook before leaving Monday afternoon was "Rescue from SSP - long weekend!"

Offline Jopo

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Re: The Great Aggy Rescue
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2021, 02:23:11 pm »
The Clarke stretcher was sent in as a replacement for the Neil Rob. It was two coffin shaped pieces of ply joined by a canvas hinge and made rigid by two steel poles passing through canvas loops on either side. A canvas wraparound secured the casualty. Unfortunately the poles never made the Southern Stream and the articulation of the Clarke 'was a absolute f**ing bitch' as one of the team said Monday afternoon.
 The timings noted by ptpeaty are right. When told the casualty was nearing the entrance series we sent everyone up to the cave to fill in the gaps and pass the stretcher forward. Just a couple of us remained at Whitewalls and I asked Laurie Galpin if there was the chance of a bacon sarnie but he said only some of the stew the army had provided was left. He opened the Norwegian thermal container which was full of pork chops that should have gone in the other containers before serving. So a chop sandwich had to suffice.

Jopo


Offline moletta

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Re: The Great Aggy Rescue
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2021, 06:40:33 pm »

  Bit late, but I think my brother was one of the first group into the cave. He was in the cave for 14 hours so it seems likely. He was working in a local outdoor centre at the time.

  Unfortunately he died at the end of January so I can't check.

 

 

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