Author Topic: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave  (Read 4214 times)

Online David Rose

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Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« on: August 05, 2021, 10:16:38 am »
The following has just appeared on Cavers of Facebook. The translation is poor (probably by Google?) but the the story is truly bizarre:

Russian speleologists found the body of a man in the Verevkin cave in Abkhazia.
According to the suggestion of Russian speleologists who discovered a man's body in the cave of Verevkin, the tragedy could occur in summer or autumn 2020
SUHUM, Aug 4-Sputnik, Badri Esiava. Russian speleologists found the body of a man in the Verevkin cave in Abkhazia at a depth of about 1100 meters, Sputnik told a member of the board of the Union of Speleologists of Russia Yevgeny Breakkov.
′′ On August 3, at 4:00 a speleological group of the Perov club from Moscow, which has been working in the Verevkin cave, found the body of a tourist. First they saw some rope on the entrance well, found some things in the cave, and at a depth of 1100 meters on the rope hung the human body ", he said.
According to Snedkov, it was possible to determine that the deceased was a tourist by his equipment, which did not correspond to the complexity of the cave and route. The man could not have enough strength and experience to overcome a difficult plot.
Moreover, he emphasized, descent into such caves alone is a gross violation of safety equipment. Speleologists have not found any identification documents. Sneedkov suggested that the tragedy most likely occurred in summer or fall last year.
The Union of Speleologists of Russia informed the Ministry of Emergencies of Abkhazia about the detection of a human body in the Verevkin cave.
′′ It is necessary to find the documents and relatives of this person. They need to say what to do next. Usually try to pull the body to the surface, but from such depths it is very difficult to do so. This will require between 50 and 100 qualified speleologists. There are quite dangerous places and plots in the cave where it is simply impossible to drag stretchers with a body ", said Snedkov.
He added that the members of the Union of Speleologists of Russia are preparing for departure to Abkhazia if they are asked by rescuers of the Republic.
In August 2020, speleologist Pavel Demidov died when descending into a cave on Mount Arbaik. His body was removed from a depth of about 300 meters. As Sneedkov told, in that case the task was not from lungs either, but not that much.
The Verevkin cave, located on the Gagra ridge in Abkhazia, is considered the deepest in the world. In 2018, during the next expedition, Russian speleologists descended to the mark of 2212 meters.

Online Katie

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2021, 01:29:58 pm »
That is a very bizarre story!
And makes me grateful that tourists around here only manage to get stuck in Thors cave and Giants, and not 1100m deep......

Offline Badlad

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2021, 01:44:56 pm »
Suicide?

Online A_Northerner

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2021, 01:50:11 pm »
Suicide?

Bit of effort to go 1.1km deep, solo, for that. From the sound of the article it makes it seem nearly impossible for them to have made it on their own.
Sweet is the sound of the pouring rain,
And the stream that falls from hill to plain.

Online Katie

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2021, 01:52:46 pm »
Quote
Suicide?

Or just a candidate for the Darwin awards?

Offline ZombieCake

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2021, 01:59:23 pm »
I suppose it makes a change from 'accidentally' falling out of a high window while tying one's shoe laces.

Online David Rose

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2021, 05:34:48 pm »
My hunch is that most of the cave was left rigged, and this was someone with a little experience who maybe rigged the entrance pitch or that and a few more, carried on, and bit off more than they could chew. Perhaps they were hit by a flood pulse - or became exhausted after a trip further down the cave?

Offline Badlad

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2021, 07:22:31 pm »
I was going on the fact that he appeared to be alone, with no call out - or friends to report him missing.  Otherwise I would have thought there would have been a search and rescue effort.  Anyway a sad do.

Online David Rose

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2021, 08:53:22 pm »
Yes indeed.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2021, 12:17:58 pm »
Reminds me of the story in One Man One Pan where the explorers met some locals who had shimmied down their rope only to realise it was further and sheerer than they thought resulting in nasty rope burns and their having to be rescued by the explorers!

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2021, 01:34:33 pm »
Presumably they'd have seen "For your eyes only" and known that James Bond at least can prussik up ropes with shoelaces, how they must have cursed their wellies, while waiting for rescue
Expert in incompetent tomfoolery

Offline Badlad

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2021, 03:05:55 pm »
Reminds me of the story in One Man One Pan where the explorers met some locals who had shimmied down their rope only to realise it was further and sheerer than they thought resulting in nasty rope burns and their having to be rescued by the explorers!

Ah my all time favourite caving book (sorry Dave).  I've done that pitch in Anlong (several times) and it is 150m deep, most of it down a very steep calcite flow but vertical closer to the bottom.  An amazing story.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2021, 12:19:21 pm »
I am working on the prequel - it'll be much shorter but with some of the same protagonists including the late inimitable Bob Lewis. MS is completed but I continually revising the drafts maps etc. It will be an illustrated memoir of the Iran 77 trip made from the contemporaneous daily log I kept plus retrospective observations and researches.  Mike Adams who wrote one man one pan works now as a dentist in Penzance by the way.

Offline moletta

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2021, 10:07:23 pm »
One Man One Pan brought back strong memories of China!


Online Allan

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2021, 08:03:47 pm »
We had the same problem in Outer Mongolia, locals could get down the ropes but not back up.

Online paul

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2021, 09:09:06 am »
Never mind Outer Mongolia, we've had that happen in Derbyshire...
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline kravietz

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2021, 11:50:30 am »
More details are found in the Russian Spelo Society (RSS) statement here https://vk.com/@rsspeleo-v-peschere-verevkina-proizoshlo-chp

Basically, a lone tourist from Sochi (Russia), researched the cave plans, found out about the permanent rigging and camps inside, and managed to descent to -380, then -600 where he spent a week (!) in a camp. He only had a rack and couple of ascenders, apparently with no foot loop. After a week in camp he started to move down, when he reached -1100 and apparently got stuck on rather complex rebelays and diversions that bypass water.

That's a really terrible story and every single sentence in the article screams "why, how". The operation to recover the body is going to be extremely complex due to its advanced decomposition and depth. More drastic implications are obvious to anyone involved in rescue operations...

Online PeteHall

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2021, 12:01:06 pm »
I'm sure others are thinking it, so I'll say it. I know it didn't end well, but you've got to give some credit to the guy for his sense of adventure and getting that far!

Imagine what someone like that might have achieved with a little support from a club!

Online David Rose

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2021, 03:50:58 pm »
The report comes out quite well in Google translate. well worth copying and pasting the Russian for those who are interested.

It reminds me of the tragic Maurice Wilson, who died trying to solo Everest without proper gear in 1934.

He had two kids and a wife. Very sad.


Online PeteHall

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2021, 04:15:35 pm »
The report comes out quite well in Google translate.

Quote
On August 4, 2021, the expedition of the Perovsky Club (headed by A. Barashkov) discovered the body of an unknown person at a depth of 1100m. The victim was hanging on the railing  on two zhumars on a long mustache  without stirrups, 3 meters from the bottom of the ledge, in a camouflage (hb?) Overalls, trekking boots. Judging by the state of the body, death occurred a long time ago (about a year ago). On the ledge under him lay a transport vehicle (tackle bag), in which they found 2 mobile phones in herme and a multitool.

Also, a rope was hung at the entrance well with a gross violation of the CPT rules (through the ledge to the old bolt). A backpack with moldy sneakers, new Petzl crampons, trekking poles were found at the bottom of the entrance well. No documents found.

On August 4, the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Abkhazia wrote a statement on behalf of the RCC about the find.

On August 5, with the help of the search organization "Liza Alert" and the orientation of the Abkhazian Ministry of Internal Affairs, they found an announcement of a missing person in November 2020 in Abkhazia. The photographs of the items were shown by the alleged relative who identified the items.

There was a photo of a person on the phone's SIM card, similar to the photo from the missing announcement.

On August 5, representatives of the Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Abkhazia went up to the cave.

To date, such a version of events is emerging (the version is preliminary, inaccuracies and errors are possible)

On November 1, 2020, a resident of the village of Veseloe, Sochi District, Sergei K. (37 years old, married, 2 children), having said goodbye to his relatives and without saying where he was going, he drove to Abkhazia in his car. Then he climbed Arabica, hung a rope and descended into the entrance well of the village of Verevkin. Here he put his belongings into 3 transport bags, which were moored by the Perovo-Speleo 2019 expedition and began the descent (he used the “grate” descent device). In camp 380, he left one transporter and went down to camp 600. Here he lived for a week (judging by the toilet), eating food and ketchup stored by cavers and using gassed gas. Judging by the screenshots on the phone, he has been preparing for his raid for over a year. The phone contains diagrams and a description of the cave from Wikipedia and Demidov's report. Those. he knew about the stationary hitch and the camps. At some point, he went lower and reached 1100m. In this part of the cave, it becomes much wetter and a person in inappropriate equipment quickly begins to freeze. There are many horizontal railings leading away from the water, along which you can move in the appropriate equipment and having CPT experience.

The widow of the deceased asked the cavers to raise her husband's body to the surface. We received permission from the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Abkhazia to take part in the rescue work (evacuation of the body from the cave).

We plan to carry out the operation by the forces of speleologists who are now on Arabica (first of all, the Perovsky club), the Union of volunteers of speleoscuers and employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Crimea and Sochi. The latter have experience in packing poorly preserved bodies.

Such a complex operation requires significant human resources and financial resources for equipment, food and logistics. We ask you to help everyone who is not indifferent.

Offline Ian P

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2021, 04:28:06 pm »
I'm sure others are thinking it, so I'll say it. I know it didn't end well, but you've got to give some credit to the guy for his sense of adventure and getting that far!

Imagine what someone like that might have achieved with a little support from a club!

This is obviously a very different view than you had on the other thread about the 3 Numptys who were in Easegill. Trying something and dying deserves credit where as they deserved your full criticism. A bit odd to me  :shrug:

Online Ian Ball

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2021, 05:18:10 pm »
Is there a way to donate to the recovery efforts?

Online PeteHall

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2021, 05:41:01 pm »
Is there a way to donate to the recovery efforts?

From the bottom of the same article, also Google translate:
Quote
Such a complex operation requires significant human resources and financial resources for equipment, food and logistics. We ask you to help everyone who is not indifferent.

SB card number: 4276 3801 6722 9488

Recipient: Galina F.

It is desirable that when translating, the message should indicate the purpose. For example, "," rescue operations "" Verevkin ", etc.

RCC coordinator - Evgeniy Snetkov +7(916)623-2793

From SDS- Akimov Vladimir +7 (926)207-5792

Probably best to verify before sending money.

Offline PeteA

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2021, 04:53:18 pm »

The details look correct - there is a formal request about to be issued on the ECRA - European Cave Rescue - web site with the details sent by the rescue team.

Will let all know when it is posted.

Pete

Offline Paul Marvin

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Re: Bizarre "tourist" death in world's deepest known cave
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2021, 04:58:35 pm »
Hadnt anybody reported him missing ?  :-\
I dont know where I am going, but will know where I am when I get there.

 

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