Be On The Look Out!
Humans can be really quite extraordinary creatures.
To put it bluntly we were pretty gob-smacked to read a report issued by the Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO) on the 8th August 2016.
The CRO provides voluntary cave and mountain rescue services in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. In a typical year this charity will handle 50+ incidents, the majority of which are walkers in the Yorkshire Dales.
As I write this we are a day away from 'EuroSpeleo'. This week-long festival of British caving kicks off on Saturday 13th August.
A lot of preparation work has been conducted - 31 pot-hole systems have been rigged - allowing 1,000 speleo enthusiasts to enjoy quality Brit caving during this 5th European Speleological Congress.
One particular cave has recently had a 'highline' traverse rigged in it by the Cave Rescue Organisation. The CRO installed a high line traverse in Kingsdale Master Cave to enable safe access and exit in case of a rescue, or in the event the Kingsdale system experiences a major flood.
Following reports, the CRO inspected the Kingsdale Master Cave rigging to find that someone at the weekend had removed a substantial section of the traverse rope, together with 56 mixed karabiners holding it in place. It is believed that the theft took place between 14:00 - 16:00 on Sunday 7th August 2016. The CRO has reported the equipment theft to North Yorkshire Police. They have also urged any member of the public with knowledge of this theft to contact the Police.
Examples of the stolen karabiners
This photo shows examples of the stolen karabiners. From to right they are a Petzl Am’D, a Faders Goliat and a Faders HMS.
The majority were Faders HMS - the one with the distinctive pull and twist lock on the screw-gate sleeve, which makes using them with a single hand a bit awkward. All three types had yellow paint on their screw-gate sleeves, although the thief may be able to remove this.
Any climber or caver who is offered karabiners of these types at a knock-down price, should please identify the thief to North Yorkshire Police, by phoning 101, selecting North Yorkshire and quoting Crime Reference '121 601 436 85'. You an also email firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively if you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
In addition two red and silver Meander Transport tackle bags, stencilled ‘CRO’ and labelled ‘KMC 1’ and ‘KMC 2’, were stolen. It is possible that the labels may have been removed.
The CRO in action
The sickening part about this theft is that it was not conducted by a random member of the public - someone who would not understand the implication of removing this essential safety equipment. This theft was done by a caver. A person with full knowledge they have potentially placed the lives of CRO team members and other cavers at risk.
I started with article stating that humans are extraordinary creatures and Lyon Equipment have proved this in a positive manner. (Lyon distribute caving, climbing, mountaineering and general 'outdoor' equipment).
They have issued this statement.
"We were alarmed to hear about the theft of Cave Rescue Organisation equipment from Kingsdale Master Cave recently, in particular as that equipment was placed in order to provide a safe exit from the cave system in event of a flood during the forthcoming EuroSpeleo2016 event.
Lyon Equipment have long been supporters of the CRO and our Chairman - Ben Lyon - is the current President of the organisation. Under the circumstances we decided to provide replacement karabiners so that the emergency route can be re-established."
The CRO responded by return.
"The CRO are extremely grateful for this generous donation of karabiners as it has not only saved us a considerable amount of money but the speedy response has helped us to be able to replace the tackle for the route quickly in case it is needed on a rescue. Thank you again for your continued support Lyon Equipment".
We also understand that Heightec (height safety and rescue specialists) have also kindly offered replacement karabiners and maillons.