Coal Mine Exploration - what extra kit do i need?

prahja

Member
I believe it is possible to visit the (working?) freemines in the Forest of Dean if you want to see how they extract the coal. I've not been myself, but have seen trips advertised through local caving clubs.

Just to clarify regarding “local” caving clubs. I can only comment regarding RFDCC. RFDCC do not offer tourist trips to working coal mines. Please dont contact RFDCC about this.
 

andrewmcleod

Well-known member
You should probably also note that many (most? all?) of the UK cave rescue teams will provide rescue assistance for any underground space, whether a mine, cave, tunnel or culvert etc, EXCEPT for coal mines...
 
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Bob Mehew

Active member
Is that because there are mines rescue teams located across the country? Though the 2011 Gleision Mine rescue called upon SMWCRT for active specialist support see item 34 in BCRC's 2011 report.
 

andrewmcleod

Well-known member
Is that because there are mines rescue teams located across the country? Though the 2011 Gleision Mine rescue called upon SMWCRT for active specialist support see item 34 in BCRC's 2011 report.
I was thinking about that when I posted, but I think that's probably an unusual exception (diving being required).

I also know that GCRG do offer rescue to coal mines (and have done training in them) but that would, I imagine, typically be in _active_ (and therefore ventilated and inspected) rather than _abandoned_ coal mines (on account of the unusual freemining setup with small private mines).

I'm sure there was something similar on the BCRC page at some point, and most of the team websites seem to not say anything about it. The Scotland and Midland cave rescue teams say 'except coal mines' in their list of places they go, and a few of the others say just 'cave' or 'cave and stone mines' or 'cave and metal mines' etc. So I could be wrong. You still won't get me in an abandoned coal mine though :p
 

LJR

Member
There are not many mines rescue teams left now and those that are left are strictly commercial operations. Previously the MRS was paid for by the coal industry and was more generous in it's responses. Now, all remaining mines, and there are hardly any coal mines, all have to pay an agreed fee for the possibility of rescue. Rather like the AA!
Having had to set up such an arrangement when the old MRS stopped cover, we found it a very expensive thing to do. You pay an annual fee for cover and some practice work where the team visits for a mock rescue at least once a year. After that everything, including an actual rescue is chargeable after the event. The comparison to the AA doesn't extend to the annual fee, that is in the tens of thousands of pounds. The more complex the mine and potential problem, the higher the fee.
Also if you think you won't arrange for rescue cover or try to say you are covered by the local cave rescue boys, you will be due for a visit from the Inspector and he'll probably have his warrant card out...
 

legendrider

New member
If you ask Caphouse very nicely, and can rustle up a small party of mates to make it worthwhile, they might let you accompany the Deputy on his morning inspection, down the shaft in the cage, through the working areas, then walk out via the inclined drift. There is a small fee payable but well worth it, and you get first-hand information plus bragging rights.
 
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