Saturday, June 14, 2008

Almost a Darwin Award

The person at the centre of this rescue is a total embarrassment to all experienced cavers.

He broke all the rules.

  • Don’t cave alone.
  • Don’t go away from the campsite without telling someone where you are going.
  • Above all, DON’T CAVE ALONE.

He arrived at the camp site hours before the rest of the party.
He decided to do a bit of a caving trip on his own. (Rule no. 1. Never cave alone.)

He left the camp site and went caving alone. (Rule no. 2. If you leave a camp site it is a good idea to leave a message, perhaps in your tent, or let someone know where you are going… He may have ducked into town to pick up some supplies! No one would know.)

He was missing for over 24 hours before the rest of the party realized that he was missing. It is not unusual for this person to do, er, eccentric things. People weren’t concerned when they arrived at the campsite. Perhaps he was asleep. Same thing the next morning, maybe he was sleeping in. The alarm was raised on the evening of the second day.

The “experienced caver”, a diabetic, had been missing for 24 hours when the alarm was raised. He could have been anywhere.

Then the stupid ass gives this interview:

"It's put me off solo caving," he said. "If there'd been a second person there with me, there's a very high chance that between two of us we could have got the rocks off and got out."

And the cave is reported as little explored and remote:
Mr McDonnell showed the scratches and bruises on his body as he told for the first time how he was trapped on Friday deep inside a remote and little-explored cave, known as Bouverie, in the NSW Highlands.

Little explored? Remote? That’s not right. Bouverie is a well known cave. Wombeyan is only two hours from Sydney.

And this one

Mr McDonnell is not married and has no children.

He coulda got a Darwin!

Eccentric? You’re a bloody idiot, Geoff.

This was not his first caving mishap: he was trapped in the Hunter Valley just over a year ago, and broke his leg five years ago.
A serial idiot.

What's my background? I was caving with my family from the age of 6. My brother was caving from the age of 2. My parents were founders of the Cave Rescue Group. I was a participant in many rescue pracise weekends at Bungonia Caves in the late 70s and 80s. That's me in the stokes litter.

Update: And I missed this report

Trapped caver faces fines
The cave is gated and locked and is closed to the public. Permits to visit it are available but Mr McDonnell did not have a permit when he entered the cave alone on Friday afternoon.

Mr Smith said a substantial amount of damage was done to the cave trying to free Mr McDonnell.

He said Mr McDonnell had breached several sections of National Park and Wildlife Act and that it is likely that action would be taken against him.

"We're upset for many reasons really because he went caving alone, he went into an area he shouldn't have been in, he didn't have a permit, he didn't have the adequate equipment and basically there had to be damage done to the cave itself to remove him from it," Mr Smith said.

"It is a restricted cave because it' a very delicate and very beautiful cave. No one was supposed to go into it."


kc said...

Kae, the motto I live by...which has so far not let me down & I've had no reason to rethink it or acquire a new People Are Dumb.

Some are dangerous Dumb, some are stupid Dumb, some are funny Dumb...but People Are Dumb. This lovely chunk of humanity proves my point once again.

Anonymous said...

Hi kc,

Thanks for confirming my own belief in humanity, although I use somewhat stronger terms, than you do.


kae said...

I'm pretty sure I'm not a racist.

But I'm most definitely a stupidist.

Peak Stupid? This bloke's there!