Author Topic: Possible register of digs  (Read 763 times)

Offline CRO

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Possible register of digs
« on: June 14, 2019, 11:30:20 am »
Following up on a suggestion raised at the debriefs to Curtain Pot:
This idea has been floated in the past, and understandably, some don't want to reveal where thay are working at the moment, but a register of dig sites, with a contact, grid reference and perhaps some basic topo detail would be helpful to the cave rescue teams in the event of something going wrong. We were lucky with Curtain Pot that the cavers with the casualty were able to give us good information for the location, and also lead us to the site - that may not always be the case.

We have the means available to the team to record in a confidential way (using the Sarcall* system - now almost completely adopted by all cave rescue teams) details which would only be available to the calling authorities (police, ambulance) and the cave rescue team concerned in the event of an incident.

We will need to decide on a method to collect the information confidentially and maintain it so it is up to date, but for now, we just want to gauge the willingness for such a system to be implemented. Comments and suggestions are most welcome!

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Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2019, 11:47:27 am »
Might be worth mentioning to the CNCC? they already hold a massive database of cave info.





Offline nickwilliams

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 03:03:57 pm »
I have drawn the attention of members of the BCRA EUG to this thread - the EUG is probably the best medium through which to contact the cave digging community.

At first sight this looks like a good idea, but in practice I doubt it will ever be comprehensive and when you take into account how much work would be involved in keeping the register up to date (and it's worse than useless if it's not up to date) and how often it's really going to get used, I respectfully suggest there are better things for CROs to be puttng their time into.
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Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2019, 03:58:02 pm »
I suggest if someone has a mobile phone and a signal to call 999 and does not know where they are, then the simplest way to locate the person and thence the cave entrance is using SARLOC, see https://en-gb.facebook.com/SarlocRescue/.  There are other similar apps. 

If the whole team is trapped, then lets hope the person who raises the call out does have an idea of where they are digging.  I accept it does not allow for the occasion when an apparently abandoned car initiates the search.  But is the likelihood of such a scenario sufficient to warrant the effort which Nick points out plus the potential non use of the data base?  My memory of rescue statistics is that it is more likely the event will be a suicide than trapped diggers. 

Given the police will be involved, a more useful alternative for those keen to keep the location secret is leaving a hidden note in their car stating location details.

Offline Sid

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2019, 04:52:53 pm »
When i worked for the police i added MCRA to their laptop browser. It was used for missing persons and finding quarries when a rave was on.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2019, 05:29:16 pm »
If someone has several digs on the go (which may range from the trivial to the complex, but that includes me and some of my friends), then how would the CROs know which dig to go to without further info from the call-out? I wouldn't have a call-out person for a digging trip if they didn't know where the dig actually was - I'd ask someone who did. It's difficult for me to comment fairly as none of my digs are in especially remote or complex underground locations, and if they're close to surface they're pretty obvious already, so I'm not sure if this would be of any value, at least as far as I'm concerned. Folks who are digging two miles from an exit may feel differently.

Offline mole02

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2019, 06:17:06 pm »
I have a slightly out of the way and relatively unknown dig.
However I always have two call outs and both have name address and grid co-ordinates of cave for rescue purposes.
Seems ample to me?

Offline mikem

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2019, 06:27:41 pm »
Add to that that historically cavers have been notoriously bad at estimating grid refs & length of passages  ;)

Chances are that most of database won't be kept up to date, so will be useless when you need it.

Offline mole02

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2019, 06:46:26 pm »
Not estimated, carefully GPS’d

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2019, 06:47:34 pm »
I think it would be up to cavers to make a judgement as to whether this would be necessary / useful, depending on the context of their project(s). Over the years, from time to time, I've been involved with direct liaison with cave rescue teams ahead of a project being pursued. One good example is when Notts II was first entered and was being explored on long trips by cave divers (from Notts Pot). We met with CRO members and discussed the project in detail, so that, if there had been an accident CRO had all information necessary.

Another example was the very deep dives made in Speedwell's Main Rising. When we were on with that project we discussed it with DCRO as part of routine planning and told them in advance the date of any deep dive, so they were fully aware of what was happening.

In all cases, when we've asked cave rescue teams to discuss such projects in advance, they've always been very helpful.

But for normal surface digs, with only one person down the hole and lots of folk standing around topside, it wouldn't seem as important to have registered the minutiae in advance.

It's all about common sense really - and thinking ahead.

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2019, 07:09:02 pm »
With the best will in the world  The Mendip Cave Registry ( The prime source for Mendip Caves ) is woefully out of date. The bibliography is years behind. If that cannot be kept current I doubt anything else can. Perhaps the Cave Registry should be made open for all to update rather like Wikipedia. The Registrars then need only to check the updates rather compile it all themselves. That still does not guarantee that dig info will be kept up to date.

Offline paul

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2019, 08:13:07 pm »
It isn't just the location of the entrance that is important in case of a rescue. Some foreknowledge of obstacles and impediments to getting the casualty to the surface is going to assist in what equipment, and to an extent, which rescuers may be needed in particular.

For example being told that a caver has had an accident in a particular location of a well-known cave system will be much different than being told a caver has had an accident in an unknown location in an unknown cave even with precise information on the entrance.

For example being told someone had fallen off the big pitch in Swinsto Pot would provide a lot of information on the plan being formed in the ensuing rescue as many of the rescuers would be familiar on the location and what may be involved in getting to the casualty and extracting them, as opposed to being told someone has had a fall in "So and So Chamber" in "Our Secret Project X" cave.
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Offline mole02

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2019, 08:51:59 pm »
I would have thought it was obvious that as well as supplying location, call outs would also supply as much of this information as possible!

Offline paul

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2019, 09:08:40 pm »
Not necessarily. Supposing you arrange for a friend to dial 999 and ask for help if you're not home by 10:00pm and they are not a caver or even of they are, they may not have been in the cave or know anything about it, especially of it is an ongoing dig. They may not know that to get to the location underground involves a tight and torturous crawl or an easy walking passage, etc.

It's not unknown for a call-out to be received saying someone had not contacted them as arranged by an agreed time after a caving trip and when they are asked, where did they go caving, the reply is "Derbyshire" for example.

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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2019, 09:20:16 pm »
I have a few fairly remote projects that I occasionally find time to visit. I always leave my wife with a clear and detailed description of what I am planning on that trip, so the information is always up to date. I include details of possible obstacles, digging conditions at the time, possible effects of the weather that could prevent a timely exit etc. Since my wife is not a caver, the info is of little use to her, but I I also make sure she knows who else is familiar with the site to pass the info to in the event of a callout.
I am comfortable that this is sufficient for my projects.

While a database of digs might seem a good idea, as has been stated several times above, if it isn't up to date, it's not going to be very useful...

More up to date info with a reliable person seems a better option to me.

Compared to the time spent digging, writing a quick note ahead of a trip is no effort at all, but in the event of an accident, could make all the difference.
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Offline mole02

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Re: Possible register of digs
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2019, 09:26:40 pm »
Fair enough, but in my case the call outs are current diggers and know the cave inside out.
I still see the up to date information that they would supply a better option than a possibly outdated data base of digs