Cave Rescue


Cave Rescue

This section covers the organisation and structure of Cave Rescue teams in the UK, the section does not cover Cave Rescue techniques. For detailed Caving and Cave Rescue info go to the BlueDome National Caving Association section.

Cave rescues in the British Isles are carried out by volunteer cave rescue organisations, each with its own teams, equipment, administration and geographical area of operations. Between them they provide nearly a thousand experienced cavers and a mass of specialised equipment, together with the organisational structure necessary to co-ordinate rescue operations. Each year their members carry out around fifty underground rescues and attend many other incidents and emergencies where their specialised expertise is requested by the Police.

The British Cave Rescue Council was formed in 1967 as the representative body for all bona fide cave rescue organisations in the British Isles. Its functions are to represent and support its members at a national level, promote and assist the exchange of information between members, and to hold national conferences to consider matters concerning cave rescue. To perform these functions it has an executive committee of chairman, secretary, treasurer and conference secretary and a small budget financed by a periodic levy on members. Normally, one formal full council meeting is held each year, and a conference is organised (with members taking turns to be hosts) every other year.

The member organisations are:-

  • Cave Rescue Organisation (based in North Yorkshire)
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  • Cumbria Ore Mine Rescue Unit
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  • Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation
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  • Devon Cave Rescue Organisation
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  • Gloucestershire Cave Rescue Group
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  • Irish Cave Rescue Organisation
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  • Mendip Rescue Organisation
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  • Midlands Cave Rescue Organisation
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  • North Wales Cave Rescue Organisation
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  • Scottish Cave Rescue Organisation
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  • South East Cave Rescue Organisation
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  • South Wales Cave Rescue Organisation
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  • Swaledale Fell Rescue Organisation
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  • Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association