Cave rescue in Mexico

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Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby yvonnedroms » Jan 23, 2008 8:42 pm

Here are details about a caving accident that happened yesterday afternoon in Mexico, when a Belgian caver fell 5 meters and fractured some bones. The details are from Richard Grebeude (from the Spéléo Club de Belgique), which I translated into English. The situation looks good! My best wishes to Arthur!
-Yvonne Droms

The victim is Arthur Meauxsoone, son of Guy Meauxsoone. He fractured the foot of one leg and hurt the knee of the other at -400 meters after 20 hours of exploration in a new cave, which opens at 2,400 m altitude, near the village of Cuaxuxpa, about 10 min on foot from Alcomunga. Therefore it is not really in Zongolica but more to the south within our Belgian zone of exploration where we've been prospecting and exploring since 1980. (Ten of us are actually ready to go there on Feb. 10 for another expedition in this area.)

Arthur self-rescued up to -200 meters, passing through a difficult meander with the assistance of three expedition partners (Geraldine, Gaël and Stephan Girard). After being on the go for more than 30 hours, he is now resting in a sleeping bag at around -200 meters. The rescue was called this afternoon around 3 pm (Belgian time, I assume - yd) and was organized from Belgium by directly contacting some Mexican caving friends and in particular Franco Attolini who was key to putting together an effective rescue team made up of six experienced cavers who will be arriving on site in approximately three hours (written around 9 pm US EST - yd).

There are at the moment firemen, Red-Cross workers and mountaineers on the surface also. If all goes well, Arthur should be out at the latest tomorrow morning. Richard.

(Original French text below)

La victime est Arthur Meauxsoone, fils de Guy Meauxsoone. Il s'est fracturé le
pied d'une jambe et abimé le genou de l'autre à -400 après 20h d'explo dans un
nouveau trou en cours qui s'ouvre à 2.400m d'altitude près du village de
Cuaxuxpa à 10 min de piste d'Alcomunga. Ce n'est donc pas du tout à Zongo mais
plus au sud sur notre zone d'explo belge où nous prospectons et explorons
depuis 1980. (Nous débarquons d'ailleurs à une dizaine le 10 février pour une
expé de plus sur la zone.)
Il est remonté en auto-secours jusqu'à -200 au-delà d'un méandre difficile avec
l'aide de ses trois coéquipiers (Géraldine, Gaël et Stéphane Girard).
Après plus de 30h d'activité, il est pour l'instant vers - 200 au repos dans un
sac de couchage. Le secours a été déclenché cet après-midi vers 15h et organisé
depuis la Belgique en contactant directement les potes Mexicains et
particulièrement Franco Attolini qui fut la plaque tournante du déclenchement
d'une équipe efficace de secours constituée de 6 vrais spéléologues qui d'ici
3h environ va débarquer sur place. En surface il y a en effet actuellement des
pompiers, des secouristes de la Croix Rouge, et des montagnards.
Arthur devrait si tout va bien sortir au plus tard demain matin.
Richard.
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Re: Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby yvonnedroms » Jan 24, 2008 3:41 pm

I just heard from Richard Grebeude in Belgium who talked with the Belgian group in Mexico
by phone a few minutes ago. The rescue is taking longer than planned due to the constricted
nature of the cave. It will most likely take another 48 hours before Arthur can be brought
out...

Yvonne Droms
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Re: Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby yvonnedroms » Jan 25, 2008 1:39 pm

Re: Mexico cave accident

More from Richard Grebeude (a brief translation) from earlier today:

Arthur is now in the good (and pretty) care of a (female) doctor who is with
him.
The 80-meter pit at around -250 meters, at the bottom of which Arthur is right
now, is equiped with a long tyrolian because the pit walls are too unstable to be able
to do anything else.
A number of very competent Mexican cavers are helping, and the rescue should be
concluded within a few hours.
Some tight meanders were the cause of the slow down in the rescue process.

Yvonne Droms

Original text from Richard below:
Saludos a todos,

Quelques brèves infos sur le secours en cours au Mexique, qui permettront je
l'espère à mes téléphones fixe et portable et à ma boîte mail de refroidir un peu.

Arthur est pour l'instant en de bonnes et jolies mains d'une toubib qui est
auprès de lui.
Le P80 vers -250, à la base duquel il se trouve en ce moment, est équipé d'une
grande tyrolienne, les parois étant trop instables pour envisager autre chose.
Un certain nombre de sauveteurs spéléos mexicains très compétents sont entrés
dans la danse, tout devrait se conclure d'ici quelques heures.

Il a donc un pied pèté et le genou de l'autre jambe abîmé. Certains méandres
forts étroits ont jusqu'ici freiné la progression du sauvetage, certains n'ayant pas le format
ad hoc pour le conduit ;-)

Richard
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Mexican team completes successful rescue of French caver

Postby Wayne Harrison » Jan 26, 2008 1:04 pm

PUEBLA, Mexico (AP) - Mexican rescuers pulled an injured French cave explorer to safety early Saturday, working in a passageway so narrow they sometimes had to remove him from a stretcher and carry the man in their hands.

Capping a grueling four-day rescue effort, emergency workers pulled Arthur Meauxone, 21, dirty but conscious, from the Cuaxuspan cave in central Puebla state, where he had been trapped since Wednesday.

Meauxone apparently suffered a fall and a broken bone in the mishap, but there were no immediate details on the extent of his injuries, which did not appear life-threatening; rescuers wrapped him in a thermal blanket, gave him initial treatment in a tent near the mouth of the cave, and carried him to a waiting ambulance.

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Successful rescue down in Mexico

Postby Ernie Coffman » Jan 27, 2008 5:01 pm

Here's a link to a successful rescue in Mexico, of a French caver.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,325820,00.html
Be sure and go to the twelve pictures below the story, also! :cavingrocks:
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Re: Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby yvonnedroms » Jan 27, 2008 9:08 pm

According to Richard Grebeude, Arthur came out at 5:45 am local time
on Saturday. He is doing fine in a hospital in Tehuacan,
Mexico. On Monday the group will be back in Belgium, before
returning to the Vercors (in France). Arthur broke his tibia, fibula,
and right foot, he suffers from various contusions, and has some
minor issues with his left knee. The rescue lasted four days, mainly
due to how constricted the meanders were.
(original message below)

Yvonne Droms

Pour tous ceux que ça intéresse, Arthur est sorti hier à 5h45 locale.
Il va bien, il est à l'hosto à Tehuacan.
Dans deux jours ils seront tous en Belgique, avant de retourner sur
le Vercors.
Il souffre d'une fracture du tibia, du péroné et du pied droit, de
contusions multiples, et de quelques ennuis mineurs au genou gauche.
Le sauvetage aura mis finalement 4 jours, c'est essentiellement dû à
l'exiguité des méandres.
Richard.
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Re: Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby Brian Masney » Jan 29, 2008 7:09 pm

Thanks for the information, Yvonne. Is there any word about what caused the accident?

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Re: Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Jan 29, 2008 8:02 pm

Arthur sounds like one tough guy it can't have been easy making it up 200m with a broken leg and the other knee damaged after caving for 20hrs, it's a little bit of a shame the news reports didn't seem to mention this as it at least halved the work rescuers would need to do. :kewl: It would also give a very positive impression of the expedition and perhaps cavers in general because they were able to self rescue as far as they did, Well done Guys!!!! :bow:
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Re: Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Jan 31, 2008 1:31 am

Just got this via ozcavers:

http://www.pr-inside.com/mexico-fines-trapped-french-cave-explorer-r413504.htm

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico has fined six French cave explorers, one of whom was trapped in a cave for days, for violating their tourist visas.
Mexico's National Immigration Institute fined Arthur Meauxone, 21, and five other French tourists about 500 pesos (US$46, ¤30) each for conducting related research under tourist visas, federal and Puebla
state officials confirmed Wednesday.
«They were fined because they were engaged in activities they weren't authorized to perform here,» Cecila Romero Castillo, head of the immigration institute, told reporters Tuesday.
Rescue workers on Saturday pulled Meauxone from a cave in central Mexico, where he had been trapped for four days. He apparently suffered only minor injuries and was in good spirits. The five other members of the expedition, including Meauxone's father, managed to leave the cave shortly after the accident.
Romero said the spelunkers didn't object to the fine and thanked Mexican officials for their tireless work in rescuing Meauxone. The six were scheduled to return to Europe on a flight Wednesday, she said.

In 2004, Mexican officials detained 13 British citizens, some of whom were trapped for more than a week in an underground cavern in Puebla state, for allegedly violating tourist visa regulations.
After the 2004 incident, Mexico determined that cave explorers can enter the country as tourists if they plan to only see the caves, but must seek a more specific visa if want to do research.
Mexico's vast networks of caves draw explorers from around the globe, and many of the caverns were mapped by foreign cave explorers working with their Mexican colleagues.


I'm not sure what the authorities consider research.... :question: the previous reports said they were doing exploration... :shrug:
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Re: Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby paul » Jan 31, 2008 7:38 am

fuzzy-hair-man wrote:Just got this via ozcavers:

http://www.pr-inside.com/mexico-fines-trapped-french-cave-explorer-r413504.htm

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico has fined six French cave explorers, one of whom was trapped in a cave for days, for violating their tourist visas.
Mexico's National Immigration Institute fined Arthur Meauxone, 21, and five other French tourists about 500 pesos (US$46, ¤30) each for conducting related research under tourist visas, federal and Puebla
state officials confirmed Wednesday.
«They were fined because they were engaged in activities they weren't authorized to perform here,» Cecila Romero Castillo, head of the immigration institute, told reporters Tuesday.
Rescue workers on Saturday pulled Meauxone from a cave in central Mexico, where he had been trapped for four days. He apparently suffered only minor injuries and was in good spirits. The five other members of the expedition, including Meauxone's father, managed to leave the cave shortly after the accident.
Romero said the spelunkers didn't object to the fine and thanked Mexican officials for their tireless work in rescuing Meauxone. The six were scheduled to return to Europe on a flight Wednesday, she said.

In 2004, Mexican officials detained 13 British citizens, some of whom were trapped for more than a week in an underground cavern in Puebla state, for allegedly violating tourist visa regulations.
After the 2004 incident, Mexico determined that cave explorers can enter the country as tourists if they plan to only see the caves, but must seek a more specific visa if want to do research.
Mexico's vast networks of caves draw explorers from around the globe, and many of the caverns were mapped by foreign cave explorers working with their Mexican colleagues.


I'm not sure what the authorities consider research.... :question: the previous reports said they were doing exploration... :shrug:


It could be that they consider the tearm "research" to also cover original exploration? Hence exploration (i.e. "research") is not allowed for Tourist Visa holders? Maybe they are trying to keep some original exploration for local cavers? Who knows?
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Re: Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby Squirrel Girl » Jan 31, 2008 9:33 am

paul wrote:It could be that they consider the tearm "research" to also cover original exploration? Hence exploration (i.e. "research") is not allowed for Tourist Visa holders? Maybe they are trying to keep some original exploration for local cavers? Who knows?
Actually, I believe this is correct. Not because they want to keep it for the locals. I think most expeditions welcome and probably encourage competent local cavers to join them. But I think it's a government boondoggle. It was set in place following the British fiasco.
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Re: Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby paul » Feb 1, 2008 8:45 am

Squirrel Girl wrote:
paul wrote:It could be that they consider the tearm "research" to also cover original exploration? Hence exploration (i.e. "research") is not allowed for Tourist Visa holders? Maybe they are trying to keep some original exploration for local cavers? Who knows?
Actually, I believe this is correct. Not because they want to keep it for the locals. I think most expeditions welcome and probably encourage competent local cavers to join them. But I think it's a government boondoggle. It was set in place following the British fiasco.


Presumably you mean the fiasco caused by Mexican authorities and media involving a British caving expedition as opposed to a fiasco caused by a British caving expedition?
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Re: Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby NZcaver » Feb 1, 2008 9:44 am

paul wrote:Presumably you mean the fiasco caused by Mexican authorities and media involving a British caving expedition as opposed to a fiasco caused by a British caving expedition?

:exactly:

Is it just me, or do the Mexican authorities seem to make a bigger issue out of visiting British, French etc cavers than they do with most Americans?
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Re: Cave rescue in Mexico

Postby Squirrel Girl » Feb 1, 2008 10:01 am

NZcaver wrote:
paul wrote:Presumably you mean the fiasco caused by Mexican authorities and media involving a British caving expedition as opposed to a fiasco caused by a British caving expedition?

Of course!
NZcaver wrote::exactly:

Is it just me, or do the Mexican authorities seem to make a bigger issue out of visiting British, French etc cavers than they do with most Americans?

It's just you.

I think the Americans are trying to keep a low profile, work with the govt, etc. etc. Plus, I think there was a year or so of not so many Americans going to Mexico.

Also, it seems the govt gets upset when they find out about an expedition through an accident. If you don't have anything go too badly wrong, you get no particular attention paid to you.
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