Kiwi Cavers Participate in National Cave Rescue Exercise
A national cave rescue exercise last weekend saw 100 people participate in a mock rescue in New Zealand’s Greenlink cave system.
The event, held every three years using funding from LandSar NZ, included over 80 cavers from around the country, police, and LandSar volunteers.
The scenario was that a team of three cavers, one whom was injured, were missing and had to be located.
To complete the difficult rescue, which involved many obstacles, a total of 50 cavers descended into the cave in teams ranging from two to six members. They communicated their progress with the management team at the SAR base and at the cave entrance via an underground communication system known as a “Michie Phone.”
By the end of the exercise, which concluded just after midnight on Saturday, March 2nd, some of the cavers had been underground for more than 24 hours.
At 27 kilometres (16.7 miles) long and 400 meters (1,312 feet) deep, New Zealand’s Greenlink cave system is the third-longest cave in the country.