Youths' cave exploration traps three; fire crews get them out
San Antonio Express - San Antonio,TX,USAMay 12, 2007
Equipped with a single flashlight, six youths descended around midnight Friday into a vast system of caves described by rescue workers as "Swiss cheese" in an abandoned North Side quarry, fire officials said.
Frightened, three of them quickly turned back. The other three, between the ages of 17 and 21, got disoriented in the pitch black and became lost.
Rescue workers with the San Antonio Fire Department found them around 6:45 a.m. Saturday about 1,000 feet inside the caves in the Longhorn Quarry on Wurzbach Parkway near Thousand Oaks Drive and pulled them to safety, said District Fire Chief Randy Jenkins.
"Those caves are not to be explored," Jenkins said, adding it was unclear how the youths circumvented iron bars at the caves' openings to prevent entry.
Around 3:30 a.m., one of the youths still in the caves had found a cell phone signal and called one of his friends who'd left earlier. That youth returned to the caves. Still too wary to try an amateur spelunking attempt, he called firefighters instead.
Rescue workers tied together 250-foot rescue ropes to serve as a lifeline, cut through the iron bars and searched the caves for three hours before finding the lost youths.
All three were huddled together.
"They could've lost their lives," Jenkins said. "The cell phone actually saved them."
One of the youths suffered minor injuries to his legs, and all three were "scared and dehydrated," Jenkins said.
Emergency medical technicians treated them at the scene before police placed them in handcuffs and drove them away.
Authorities said the amateur spelunkers likely would be charged with trespassing.
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United States Mine Rescue Association
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Thread: Cave Rescue
05-14-2007, 10:33 AM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
Cave RescueAlways a day late and a dollar short!
05-14-2007, 11:20 PM #2
Well I think that's the last time they'll go exploring in those caves.
We don't have much for caves around here, but there are dozens of old abandonded mines in the area with no control points on the drifts. I am fully expecting a similar call one day. We have not had time to do any specific training, but with no trained teams in the area, it would likely take a mix of Police, Fire, and GSAR teams to pull it off.Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!
05-14-2007, 11:37 PM #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
- Whangaparaoa Peninsular North Island New Zealand
Six youths?Aged between 17 and 21 (well thats the only ages that is shown)
when do you start calling them men? In the Kangas case is it 14?
If they go into the military is it 17?If they get killed in Iraq is it 21?
Not trying to be picky,but children/boys/youths-what is the cut-off?
Myself I think I am a 67yr boy(the missus is always telling me to stop acting as a child)
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