Dublin father and son rescued from cave in Co Clare after getting lost and spending 28 hours underground
A father and son from were rescued from a cave in Co Clare today after getting lost and spending 28 hours underground
Dubliners Patrick Troy and his son Finn (who is in his twenties) had entered the caving network at Pollnagollum in north Clare on Saturday afternoon but lost their way.
Despite efforts to find their way out the pair remained in the cave overnight until they were finally located at around 5.00pm this evening.
Speaking after emerging from the cave network, Patrick Troy was quick to praise his rescuers and admitted “I broke all the cardinal rules.”
“Honestly, I broke all the rules in the book. I should have notified someone we were going in. We thought it would just be in for two hours and back out again. You should always notify someone when you are going caving like that,” Patrick said.
“I’ve been caving for over 30 years but its 20 years since I was here and the passages have all changed. We were staying in Lisdoonvarna for the weekend and I was supposed to collect someone in Limerick. When I didn’t arrive the whole thing (rescue) kicked into action,” he added.
“We tried to find our way out but it was total darkness. My son Finn was very good because your mind can play tricks on you but he was very calm. He told me he wouldn’t go caving with me again,” Patrick quipped.
A former member of ICRO, Patrick said he knew they would be rescued.
“We managed to sleep and stay warm but I was always confident we would be rescued. I knew they’d (ICRO) be coming,” he added.
The caves, which run up to 20kms in length are located on the eastern side of Slieve Elva between Lisdoonvarna and Ballyvaughan.
Members of the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation (ICRO) from several parts of the country were mobilised to the scene once the alarm was raised.
ICRO spokesman Brían MacCoitir said: “At 2pm (Sunday) the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation received a call from Ennis gardaí requesting assistance following a report of a father and son missing after a caving trip.”
“Rescue wardens determined their car was still in place and initiated a national call-out of ICRO team members. A number of search and comfort teams entered the cave system which consists of about 20kms of passages on a number of different levels.
"The two missing men were located just after 5pm below the main junction in the main streamway. They were unable to locate the way on despite continuing to search throughout the night. While both were cold, they were in good spirits and exited the cave with the assistance of the ICRO team,” Mr MacCoitir added.
The 50-strong volunteer ICRO unit is the national rescue team and specialises in cave and abandoned mine rescue across the 32 counties.