Cave rescue under way at Airman's Cave, Texas

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Postby KENTO » Oct 15, 2007 9:09 pm

hewhocaves wrote:*ugh*... the FOX news coverage is particuarly unwatchable.
....
That is why friends don't let friends watch Fox TV , it will only rot your brain to a non-thinking state.
I did see some worthwhile coverage on CNN stressing that their are Caving clubs available where one can learn to do this properly and carefully to avoid getting lost. The clips featured the comments of the firefighter rescuers who assisted with this.
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Re: post subject

Postby Tim White » Oct 16, 2007 2:13 pm

KENTO wrote:The clips featured the comments of the firefighter rescuers who assisted with this.


I’m not sure which CNN bit you saw, but one featured DJ Walker on a phone interview. DJ is a Austin FireFighter (and on the AFD Special Operations Unit) and is the NCRC South-Central Regional Coordinator.

I know that DJ was one of the first rescuers to respond to the call. He was on the initial hasty search team, then worked as the Public Information Officer.

Wearing two hats, (AFD and NCRC Regional Coordinator) DJ became the liaison with the command post and made the request for local cavers to assist with the search.

From all that I have heard, this was a very well run incident. Both the paid professional rescuers and cavers working well together for a positive outcome. That is the was it should be! Job well done.

:patriotic2: :kewl:
Be safe,
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post subject

Postby KENTO » Oct 16, 2007 2:33 pm

I saw the bit broadcast of the phone interview with DJ , he gave an absolutely exemplary interview. This is sort of amazing because the questions came from a stereotypical looking " Joe Anchorman" kind of guy. He came across as about the most eventempered intelligent journalist since Walter Cronkite if you ask me. The caving community and the delicate underground world was well served by this accidental exposure to the general public.
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Airmen's Cave Rescue

Postby Kenl301 » Oct 16, 2007 5:39 pm

In answer to Stridergdm's question - Yes the cavers in question were all wearing helmets w/ lights. They were removed at the entrance while they were debriefed.

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Postby Cheryl Jones » Oct 16, 2007 9:20 pm

I-Report: Your photos from inside tight, twisting Airman's Cave
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/10/15/cave.irpt/index.html
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Postby wendy » Oct 16, 2007 9:30 pm

ok so what's the story? what was their experience level? were they properly geared? had they been there before? the trail of leaves causes one to assume a lot about this trio, so I was curious as to what the scoop is.
"Blessed are they who learn from their mistakes. For they shall make, if not necessarily fewer of them, different and more interesting ones."

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Postby wyandottecaver » Oct 17, 2007 5:18 pm

(tounge-in-cheek) I always use leaves, more natural than string, provide organic energy for the little critters, and they are great for emergency toilet paper :)
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Postby Kenl301 » Oct 17, 2007 6:02 pm

Long story short -
They planned on pushing to the end and returning. They staged water for the return trip and had adequate lighting / batteries. Unfortunately on their return leg the got disoriented in the poetry passage (which is easy to do). They new someone would ultimately come looking since they left a "dropdead" timeline with someone outside. While they waited they alternated between resting and trying to work out which passage lead back to their last marker. They were located by one of the search teams and evaluated by rescue personnel. All three exited the cave under their own power along with the rescue team.
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Postby Stridergdm » Oct 17, 2007 8:18 pm

BTW, I do think the fact that they had a 'call out' time does show a good degree of forethought and planning. Glad to hear they were well prepared. From the interview it did seem they were beyond your average "spelunker" (which is why the apparent lack of helmets confused me at the time.)

Glad everyone is safe.
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more media coverage

Postby Wayne Harrison » Oct 18, 2007 7:02 am

"It's a journey that would give many people nightmares. A cramped, claustrophobic underground tunnel that continues to get more cramped the deeper inside one travels.

Experts say that without a really dependable light source one might never make it out of the intense darkness inside. INSIDE EDITION takes an exclusive look inside the cave, where three Texas students were trapped for thirty hours.

The drama began after the students hiked into Airman's Cave, a well-known site near Austin, Texas. The caves stretch 12,000 feet back, partly through a narrow tunnel nicknamed "The Birth Canal." It was there, inside the underground maze, that the students got lost.

The students kept their cool. They figured rescuers would come eventually, because they had told people where they were going. As an extra safety precaution, the students laid a trail of leaves through the cave behind them, so that searchers could retrace their steps, if needed."

<b><a href="http://www.insideedition.com/ourstories/inside_stories/story.aspx?storyid=995">via Inside Edition</a></b>
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Postby Cheryl Jones » Oct 18, 2007 4:48 pm

Unfortunately on their return leg the got disoriented in the poetry passage (which is easy to do).

Ran out of leaves I guess!

I hope they were invited to the next meeting of the UT Grotto. They sound like good prospective members and future cavers. :goodjob:

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