Elderly Caver Stuck Overnight in New Zealand Cave

November 22, 2012 / New Zealand, Oceania
Hiking Along a Trail in the Bullock Creek Area.

Hiking Along a Trail in the Bullock Creek Area. Photo by rowland_rick/flickr

An 82-year-old caver was rescued earlier today after spending the night in a cave in New Zealand’s West Coast region.

The long time member of the Canterbury Caving Group, Derek Lipyeat, had departed on Wednesday at around 5:00pm for a solo trip in Kubla Khan cave in the West Coast’s Bullock Creek.

Although he was expected to return by 9:00pm, rescuers weren’t notified of his absence until the next morning.

Unfortunately his wife, waiting nearby in their Campervan, had been unable to sound the alarm because she doesn’t drive and the nearest town, Punakaiki, was an 8 kilometer (5 mile) walk.

When rescuers finally arrived on the scene around 11:00am, they quickly found the exhausted man about 50 meters into the cave.

He was extracted from the cave and taken to Grey Base Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and breathing issues.

82-year-old man rescued from cave [3news.co.nz] & Man, 82, stuck in West Coast cave [stuff.co.nz]

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