Did you know that the UK boasts one of the oldest cave rescue teams in the world?
The Cave Rescue Organisation, based in Clapham in the Yorkshire Dales celebrates 75 years of cave rescue this year.The organisation became operational in February 1935 and was formed following the rescue of a caver late the previous year. Today they are one of only three teams in the UK who perform Cave Rescues as well as Mountain Rescues.
Since 1935, the CRO have attended more than 2,266 incidents. This has involved 3,320 people (aged from 5 months to 87 years). During 2009, they attended a record 88 incidents, of which 59 involved fell walking, 15 caving, 5 climbing, 6 animals and 3 others. It is anticipated that they will rescue their 3400th individual in the coming months.
The CRO is a charitable organization and is dependent on public donations and fundraising events such as the sponsored Three Peaks Challenge on 7th August 2010. The volunteers are all experienced cavers, climbers and walkers who are on call at all times day and night, 365 days a year, and give their time freely to help those in need of assistance. Many members have given over 25 years of service with some over 40 years and one member over 50 years continuous service. On the team is even the granddaughter of one of rescuers who was actually on the rescue in 1934, which was the catalyst for the CRO to be formed.
The camaraderie of such long serving members has played a major part in the team dealing with the highs and lows of their work. On several occasions they have had to deal with upto six incidents in one day and some occasions four incidents simultaneously. Indeed a large number of the team spent two weeks helping at Lockerbie when that tragedy occurred.
To celebrate the occasion of their 75th Anniversary, the CRO are having an Open Day at their Headquarters in Clapham on 5th June 2010. There will be various events such as a rescue race in the river, an all day BBQ, media show, equipment demonstrations and much more. At 1.00pm, they will officially open of their new extension that was added last year to update their training, control and storage facilities.
Award winning local Dent Brewery will be brewing a special beer called Rescewe that will be available on the day and sold in pubs and shops across the region. The CRO will receive a donation from the brewery for every pint and bottle sold.
Jack Pickup, Chairman of CRO said "The Open Day is intended as a thank you to all of the team, their families, the local community and all who support our work. Everyone is welcome to come along and join in the fun and become a Friend of CRO. It would be great to see previous CRO members and anyone who has been rescued by the team – please come along with your rescue stories and any press cuttings and photographs."