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Cave Rescues and Incidents.

The following is a shortened version of Dr. Oliver Lloyd’s Annual Hon. Secretary’s report to the M.R.O.

SWILDON’S HOLE (26-3-67)

Two Derbyshire cavers descended the 40’ on a knotted rope – on return one too tired to climb back up. Ordnance Survey C.G. obtained help. Both were brought out safely up the pitch without the MRO.  Corner (Surrey Y.C.) says “Nothing more was heard from him or even a word of thanks. How anyone can be so stupid as he I just don’t know…”


Member of party became stuck when moving through from Traverse Passage into the Upper Traverse Passage.  He had entered the smaller of the two passages.  MRO called.  Slight adjustment of his clothes soon had him free.

SWILDON’S HOLE (11-6-67)

Three Londoners – Hawkins (24), Eswin (23) and Hammond (23) descended about 10am.  Caving not too frequent for 1 year.  Had good equipment except no ladders.  They were rather good at climbing and used a single rope on the 40’.

Whilst climbing the 20’ Hawkins fell and fractured his left femur.  His handhold broke.  MRO alerted 12.20pm.  Hanwell took charge on the surface.  Craig (SMCC) organised the rigging of the 40’.  At 2.00pm Kenny and Thomson went down with medical supplies.  Additional help required.  O.C.L. notes.  “Sunday afternoon is the worst time in the week for finding cavers”…  By 4pm Hawkins was at the top of the 40’.  Progress was slow because he was suffering much pain. He reached the surface at 6.15pm.

SWILDON’S HOLE (14-10-67)

At 5pm the 40’ flooded due to heavy rain.  Member of a team of bath students was unable to climb the ladder.  UBSS party rigged the 40’.  Hauling was done from the bottom of the pitch.  The subject was able to get out under his own steam.

SWILDON’S HOLE (28-10-67)

Flooding.  Parties were known to be below 40’.  MRO on standby.  At 3pm half of Harrow Moles party came out of the cave leaving other half down there.  At 5pm party of 7 descended the cave to 40’ Kingston and Lewis descended 40’ and made contact with Moles. It was difficult to determine the number of parties in the cave – in fact there was only one.  Bristol waterworks started the pumps at 5pm at a rate of 22,000 gal/hr.  Operation complete 10.30pm.  OCL notes, “It is difficult to know who is down Swildon’s since many parties do not let Mr. Main know beforehand.  If no party could get down without first obtaining a key from Mr. Main, then the problem would be easier”.

LAMB LEER (29-10-67)

Univer. of Surrey P.C.  Girl (19) descending main pitch when, owing to a misunderstanding with her lifeline, fell about 20ft. and hurt herself.  Time about 3pm.  MRO called. Hanwell took charge on surface and Thomson underground.  Subject was suspected of having a fractured pelvis though not the case.  OCL notes, “Life lining is no mere formality.  It should occupy the full attention of the life-liner”.

SWILDON’S HOLE (8-11-67)

 Party of 4 went to Mud Sump.  On return one man (21) cold, wet and tired, unable to climb 40’.  “The party had split into two, and it is agreed that had they remained as one party, enough help on the lifeline could have been given in the first place to help subject climb it”.  Davies and Thomson went down and rigged 40’ and hauled him up via ledge on the other side.