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Rapport från Plura operation.

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Report from the Plura Recovery Operation

As most of you know by now, Ståle Tveitane from Grimstad lost his life in Plura
River Cave on 16th August. He was last seen at about 75m deep and 1200m into
the system by his diving partner, who returned to raise the alarm. An initial
search of the air chamber later the same night confirmed that Ståle had not
returned from the deep part of the cave. The assumption from that point on was
that he had died.

A recovery operation which involves diving as long and deep as this is a very
serious business. For several days it was very unclear how a recovery could be
performed and who was qualified and able to do the job. A particular problem in
cave diving rescues is that diving is heavily regulated. A dive on
self-contained breathing apparatus with no surface support at this depth is
completely out of the envelope - the rules simply say it is not allowed. Yet
the rules were obviously not written with cave diving in mind. This meant that
a plan had to be developed which would satisfy the health and safety
authorities that the operation could be completed in safety.

The plan which was eventually adopted was to seek formal help from the British
Cave Rescue Council. Two British cave divers, Rick Stanton and Jason Mallinson,
were requested to assist with the deep diving operations. Both Rick and Jason
have huge experience of deep cave diving and both of them had taken part in
various cave rescues and recovery operations before. Mark Dougherty was
appointed as surface team leader for the deep diving team. Nicklas Myrin from
SSF acted as his assistant. Two more British divers and a team of French divers
(two deep divers, two support divers and 2 surface support) were on stand-by.

Three support divers (Terje Hammersborg, Stein Johnsen, Jonas Söderberg) came
from the Oslo Fire Brigade with Ronny Arnesen as team leader. Surface support
came from various different organisations - NGF, the civil defence, the fire
service, the military (who supplied a diving doctor and a recompression chamber
with three staff) and the police. In total about 35 people were involved.
Communication to the air chamber in the system was achieved using Heyphones
borrowed through the BCRC. NGF members operated the radio on the surface. An
underwater decompression habitat was used to protect against the cold water.

Obviously it took several days to put this plan into action and travel to the
site. Three intensive days of diving were necessary to install the
decompression equipment, locate and recover the body and then take out all of
the equipment from the cave. Everything went very smoothly and there were no
major incidents during the whole operation.

Ståle has made the final journey home to his family and the funeral will be next
Friday, 8th September. I think everybody who worked on this operation did a
great job. It was a good example of how cavers can cooperate across
international boundaries when faced with a challenging situation.


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Anders Ståhl
Anders Ståhl 2006-09-04 23:16:50
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Huvudinlägg Rapport från Plura operation. Anders Ståhl 2006-09-04 23:16
svara Sv: Rapport från Plura operation.Ulf Meyer2006-09-05 00:41
svara Sv: Sv: Rapport från Plura operation.Anders Ståhl2006-09-05 01:00
svara Sv: Rapport från Plura operation.Ulf Meyer2006-09-05 01:24


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