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Safety

From Cambridge University Caving Club - CUCC wiki

CUCC has an excellent safety record, due largely to the great base of experience within the Club's older members which is passed down each year.

Great care is taken to fully train new cavers, use safe practices underground and to regularly inspect and maintain safety-critical equipment.

The following formal documents relate to CUCC's safety policy and associated procedures. You may need to install a PDF file viewer such as Acrobat Reader to view some of the files.

Callout Procedure and Guidelines

(updated 11/2010)

A callout is a notice given to someone above ground about the time when a group is expected to return, the members of the group, and the route to be taken. All caving parties leave a callout and this is an essential safety measure. This ensures that no excess time would be spent underground by any party after any incident.

1) A callout should consist of at least:

  • time at which you desire help to come looking for you (including the possibility of a cave rescue service being called)
  • Number of people in the party
  • A brief description of your planned trip (minimum of cave +location within cave in longer systems)
  • Registration numbers of your car(s) where applicable, along with any other useful information.

2) A callout time is a request for help at that time – so choose it wisely. YOUR CAVING PARTY is responsible for this help being summoned, which may include cave rescue. Respect that cavers on the surface have to be free to manage the search/rescue as they see fit.

3) No callouts should be set between midnight and 7am, as expecting a rescue at this time would be unrealistic. Any callouts set in this period will default to 7am the following day.

4) The callout is your safety net – by setting a callout you get to choose when you would like help to begin searching. Choose a time carefully based on your expectations for the trip, and then manage your time to return within good time. Remember that missing your callout time will waste a considerable number of man/woman/dog hours that could be put to better use, and is unacceptable.

5) Cavers on the surface should respect that the underground party picked a time at which they asked for help to be summoned. After the call out elapses you have a duty of care to your fellow cavers to effect a rescue, but situations vary hugely and so you are free to choose how to proceed (including calling the cave rescue).

6) Official CUCC trip need to have callouts.