NSW SES ASSIST AT JENOLAN CAVES RESCUE

31/03/2024 09:28 AM

A man and woman have been rescued from Jenolan Caves after they became stuck in a narrow passage for several hours.

At around 7:20pm on Easter Saturday night Oberon State Emergency Service unit, NSW Police, VRA and ambulance crews were called to the caves.

Oberon SES member Craig Gibbons was one of seven SES members who assisted in the rescue.

“The man was stuck in a tight and narrow spot in the cave, with a woman behind him,” he said.

“He was part of a larger adventure group that were able to exit the cave and raise the alarm that people were caught in the caves.

Mr Gibbons said cave rescues were a complex operation often conducted in dark and confined spaces.

The multi-agency operation took several hours to complete, with the pair retrieved around 4:45am Easter Sunday.

“We entered the cave from the other side, and needed to drill small holes and chisel some of the rock wall away so we were able to free the trapped man.

“Once we got the man free, we handed him and the female over to paramedics, and it was great to see them both walk away from the scene safe and well despite it taking many hours to get him free.

Mr Gibbons has been a member of the NSW SES 30 years and has conducted a number of rescues at the caves over the years.

“About a dozen or so have been in areas known as show caves, which are more accessible,” he said.

“This was my first rescue in the adventure caves – which are more dangerous as they’re in much tighter areas that are difficult to access.

“We need to be very fit and do a lot of caving and canyoning to build our experience.

“We do a lot of training to build our skills, and it was just great to get a successful outcome today.”

Shellarbour City
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