Subterranean skills put to work at major public events

Members of the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation (ICRO), which co-ordinates and manages cave rescue operations in Ireland, are busy preparing for their annual symposium which takes place in county Leitrim this weekend, October 27-28, when they will review a year that has been without serious incident, but which has also been very busy for the voluntary organisation.

As well as six major rescue practices, a number of desk-top practices, first aid training and other courses, ICRO were once again involved in providing first aid and medical assistance at two major public events this year, proving that their subterranean rescue skills are equally as useful above ground!

Shunning the dark depths of the caves of county Clare, ICRO decided to absorb some sunny rays on a beautiful day at the Burren Marathon last May. Experienced ICRO first aiders were dotted around various parts of the route in north Clare, ensuring that participants were well looked after – that their thirst was quenched, their skin was sun-proofed, their blisters soothed and any injuries were treated. ICRO has been assisting the Ballyvaughan Fanore Walking Club, which organises the annual event, for a number of years and considers it a very important event in its annual calendar.

And in July, ICRO members ascended one of the most popular mountains in the country, again to provide first aid and medical assistance on one of the busiest days in the year – Croagh Patrick in county Mayo on Reek Sunday. ICRO are invited to partake in the event, co-ordinated and managed by Mayo Mountain Rescue each year.



Note to editor 

The Irish Cave Rescue Organisation (ICRO), is a national voluntary body and registered charity (No. 10736) which co-ordinates and manages cave rescue operations in Ireland.

It is funded by the Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland and Sports Northern Ireland in the north and works in co-operation with An Garda Siochana and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

It comprises active cavers throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland – a core group of 50 members and a larger general group of about 200 – who can be called upon in the event of accidents in caves, potholes and abandoned mines. Whether people or animals, day or night, ICRO personnel are there to help.

ICRO is a specialist organisation – its training and skills are the best in the country for dealing with underground incidents, but it also uses these skills for more, annually providing medical assistance and first aid for the Clare Burren Marathon and on Croagh Patrick each Reek Sunday.

Farmers can also contact ICRO if their livestock have fallen into a pothole on their land. ICRO’s volunteers are selfless in their motivation but specialists in their field and are always on standby.

The new explorations of Athos Mt. – Greece

The second stage of the international project “Study of the caves of Mount Athos (Mount Athos) – Greece.” ended.  The same was initiated by the Bulgarian side and held under the patronage and with financial and material support of the European Federation of Speleology. The project team is composed Zhalov A. – Head,  V. Gyorev , Zh.Vlaykov(Bulgaria), L. Makrostergios, J. Oykonomidis, T. Komaditis and M.Karidas (Greece), I. Agapov, S. Kaminski (Russia), A.Yamac (Turkey). The group works on an area from 1 stto 11 September. In  this period were surveyed the areas of the monasteries ,   Diohar, Xenophon and heritages ” Kafrsokalivion,” “Little St.Anna”, “ St. Anna” and “Nea Skiti”. The distances between these holy places were mostly overcome with walking tours lasting from 1 to 4 hours, the movement by sea is carried by ferries.

During the event were identified and mapped (according to preliminary data, information obtained on site and as a result of the search) about 45 underground sites. They can be divided into three main categories – caves associated with the lives of Saints, caves cells, usual  and sea caves and artificial caves (catchments and reservoirs ). Along with it was collected many oral and photo information to other cave objects, which will be the subject of future studies. Preliminary data show that the team were surveyed  36  sites with a total length more than  350 meters. Other 9 objects was only visited and sketched  among which is probably the longest cave in Athos for the moment. There were localized but not explored 2 more caves, one of which probably is so called “The Big Cave of Athos”.  According the existing data (http://www.isihazm.ru/?id=1592)  the cave over 150 m long. Its entrance is 50 m wide and around 80 m in high. The total number of the explored underground cavites under the project up to date is around 100. The information for the results for the first stage and later for the expedition in 2012 is available at : https://sites.google.com/site/athosmistery/home

Hranice abyss – new depth record

Diver Krzysztof Starnawski from Poland dived 1. 10. 2012 to  -225 m and with special tool measured depth of underwater pit to 343 m. Overal depth of the abyss is 442,5 m.


Eurospeleo Magazine

Find out the new mag on the following link:


Underground prehistoric disovery in a Tunisia

Check the original article if french language:


Nikaj-Merturi 2012 caving expedition

A continuation of the exploration campaigns of the years between 1993 and 2011, was held from 31 August to 10 September the ninth expedition Commission Grotte “E. Boegan ” of Trieste (which was attended by a member of the Gruppo Grotte Brescia” C. Allegretti “) in collaboration with a handful of experienced Slovenian cavers from various groups in the highlands of the Mountains Hekurave (district Nikaj – Merturi), located in the Prokletije mountain group, range on the border between Kosovo and Albania.

Main objectives set forth were the continuation of explorations in the remote and the most impractical zone of Shpella Zeze, so to overcome about 3.5 km far known and prospecting and research at high altitude at the top Hekurave and Lake Markaj.

In Shpella Zeze, exceeded what was the last known obstacle represented by a very narrow meander of 20 meters, dubbed “Happy birthday”, progress has been made over the last 500 meters cornerstone detected two years ago, still in low tunnels characterized by continuous losses and acquisition of altitude, and by a strong wind chill. There is, in this area, more than 5 hours from the entrance without the possibility of constructing advanced  base-camp, both for the lack of space or because you do not know, within new meanders, the behavior of water under conditions of full outside raining: plus the constant cold and strong wind does not allow adequate accommodation. Other minor branches have been explored inside for a development of about 100 m. To date, therefore, the total extent of the known cavity is about 4 km of development. In the other Valley hand, other three members have played a camp-field near Lake Markaj, at an altitude of 1370 meters above sea level, located on the SE side of the massif Hekurave. Smaller cavities have been found on the walls of the lake and around the valleys that plunge to Bajram Curri, some of which continue with strong air currents and needs very short enlargements. Bars of the area were carried out at the mountains Dhive (2334 m asl), Sthylles (2028 m asl) and the Lucu Thiut (2108 m asl) coming around and exploring smaller cavities. The zones are characterized by well-marked paths, thanks to the presence of bauxite mining quarries located at high altitudes, as they stopped the activity only in the early 90s. On the last day available, was made a trip of the area in both basins EO Hekurave that lead to the top, and return to the very extensive area that forms the SE side from the top Hekurave up to the saddle above the lake Markaj mail to 2018 meters above sea level. Within this broad area totally “karsted”, were found several vertical access cavity. In total were found in the week on the lake 21 new cavities.

For the first time took part in a visit to the fossil part of Sphella Zeze, Mr. Ndoc Mulaj president of the “Alpe” association in Tirana and some other albanian members and friends. It is so strengthened, as a result of contact made last May in the Albanian capital, a fruitful collaboration that involves also the University of Trieste with prof. Cucchi of the Department of Geosciences and the town of Lekbibaj, the town hall that looks after the administration of the area.

The only negative feature of this expedition, fires. Especially in the early days and the departure from the field of Qerec, dozens of outbreaks and fires surround us in a short time, making for a few days the air unbreathable.


Ndoc Mulaj  (Associazione Alpe Tirana)

Louis Torelli, Riccardo Corazzi, Lucio Comello, Eugenio Dreolin, Dario Riavini, Paolo Gabbino (Commissione Grotte “Eugenio Boegan” – Trieste)

Vincenza Franchini (Gruppo Grotte Brescia “C. Allegretti”)

Rok Stopar  (JD Dimnice Koper)

Ivo Sedmak, Matjaž Milharčič, Marjan Vilhar (DZRJ Luka Čeč Postojna)

Milan Podpecan (JK Speleos – Siga Velenje)



Riccardo Corazzi

Banski Suhodol

The Cave System Banski Suhodol 9-11 bacome 6-th in depht in Bulgaria – 265 m

Interclub  expedition “Banski Suhodol 2012″ was organized by Sofia clubs SPC “Academic” and SC “Helictit”. In the expedition  took part cavers from the  clubs “Black Peak” Sofia, “PKSU Sofia,” Under the Rubble “-Tserovo – in total 31 cavers.  The event  took place  from 25.08 to 09.09 . The main camp was organized at 2 300 m. a.s.l . and other one   close to the system in 2 532 m.a.s. There were two tents stretched over them was stretched protective awning. The tents were provided with sleeping bags and mattresses. In the bottom part of the BS № 9-11 was built temporary camp equipped with awning, primus and food for groups of workers at the bottom.

Banski Suhodol Cave System  № 9-11:

The main purpose of the expedition was to continue with the expansion of the narrowing of the current floor. Working in BS № 9-11 was organized in shifts. The next day workshops took turns and acted to expand the bottom narrowing and clearing it of stones. The “Great Hall lock” check prspektivno interesting offshoot. At different elevations in the cave were placed biospeleologichni traps. And measured the air temperature at these locations. The temperature varies between 1.1 º C to 2 º C. Gradually tesnyaka was extended Miroslava Rudarska SC “Helictit” Sofia went on to a narrow meander dalag 8 m after which there was a new embarrassment. After narrowing the expedition was received by the extended SPC Paul Bakalov “Academic” Sofia. Fell to plummet 30 meters deep at the bottom of which there is blockage hall. Way deep is blocked by a large rock fragment. Feels like a strong current of air! New areas were mapped by Miroslava Rudarska SC “Helictit” Sofia Anton Genkov SC “Black Peak” Sofia. Total time of the expedition in the abyss System BS № 9-11 had entered fourteen times. At the end of the expedition bottom part was cleaned and partially re rigged. Cords were removed from the ice covered cliffs and rope from the bottom plumb. Were collected and biospeleological traps and some of them noticed little bugs that will be reviewed and determined by experts.


After being mapped parts and imposed a map of the cave is found that the depth and increased to -265 m and jump form the 9- th to the 6-th place in the list of the deepest caves of Bulgaria and became the deepest cave in Southern Bulgaria.



Sarma -1830m

Pavel Rudko member of the Russian expedition into the cave “Sarma” in Arabica Massif in the West Caucasus, Abkhasia have informed that as a result of new discoveries made there, the depth of the abyss is reached – 1,830 m.

Bulgarian explo in Radohines mountains

bulgarian radohines camp

Here you can read about expeditions carried out by Bulgarian explorers in Mount Radohines, Albania, during the last two years. The two main caves are -600m and – 400m deep, with potential up to -1300m. http://radohines.bgcaveexplorer.info/

Lethal accident in Ilyuhinskaya

Yesterday at Ilyuhinskaya cave, located on Mt Arabica, Abkhazia in depth of 1000m after an accident died cave diver Alexei Savelyev, club Sokolyniki. Currently, participants of expedition in the nearby Kuybishevskaya, Voronya and with the members of the expedition in Ilyuhinskaya organize rescue operation. Given the depth and obstacles along the way including a siphon action is going to be a long, difficult and resource-intensive.

If somebody want to donate money for rescue operation this is bank account:
swift-code: SABRRUMM
bank name: SberBank
person :Molev Dmitry
Number of personal account: 40817810038116812198
Number branch of bank: 7813/1257
Passport number: 4007 129485

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