FROM MENDIP CAVE RESCUE. Cave Rescue and Corona Virus

Following on from the Prime Ministers statement on Sunday re the easing of restrictions some people have asked about caving.

Firstly I will stress that it is not Mendip Cave Rescues job to tell cavers if or where they should go caving.

However, the following should be bourne in mind.

The PM made it very clear that you can meet one friend outside keeping 2 mts distance. Caves are not outside and the caving code states a minimum of 4 in a group. So unless it is a family living together its difficult.

The only pastimes allowed are golf, tennis and those where social distancing can be maintained. It cannot be maintained in caving.

MCR have made certain preparations if we are called out but the practicalities of wearing PPE in a cave would make any rescue prolonged. In addition we have protocols issued by BCRC where all equipment needs to be treated with disinfectant.

Of course we would not hesitate to attend a call out but it could take longer than normal with some cavers self-isolating. Not only would rescuers be putting themselves at risk of contracting the virus from a casualty but the casualty would also be at risk from the rescuers.

The goodwill we have with landowners on Mendip could well be put in jeopardy if cavers start arriving. The club huts are all still closed as are most caves. The two longest caves, St. Cuthberts and Swildons Hole are closed to cavers until the lockdown is lifted.

Finally caving and British Caving in particular gained enormous praise from the public and great PR following on from the Thailand rescue in 2018. One rescue will put the current positive profile that caving has back for years.

So please stay safe.

Martin Grass
Honorary Secretary
Mendip Cave Rescue
13 May 2020

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About the CSCC

The Council of Southern Caving Clubs (CSCC) is an association of Caving Clubs whose main interests lie in the Mendip Hills of Somerset. Membership is made up of in excess of 40 clubs based all over the southern part of the country and although the council is mainly concerned with Mendip, it is the Regional Body for South England, and is a constituent member of the British Caving Association (BCA).

The Council's concerns include maintaining and negotiating access agreements to the caves, conservation work such as repairing gates and placement of ECO hangers under the BCA scheme and dissemination of information to the member clubs.

There are no restrictions for membership to the CSCC, all that is required of a club is that they signify their wish to join by presenting their constitution and number of members, are accepted by a Council meeting and pay the annual subscription.

Meetings of the Council are held on a regular basis and member clubs may send as many representatives as they wish, although there is only one vote per club. Officers of the Council are elected annually and conduct its business, but they have no vote at meetings unless representing a member club. Certain officers represent the Council at meetings of the BCA and its sub committee/working groups, and close liaison is maintained with other Regional Councils, the Sports Council, English Nature as well as other local and national organisations.




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