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6 Jul, 2007 09:27

Russian speleologists practice underwater rescuing

A team of cave experts has conducted a special rescue training mission at the Ordinskaya Cave in Russia's Perm Region, which is at the foot of Ural Mountains.

In one of Russia's largest underwater caves, speleologists have been practicing ways saving people trapped deep under water.

The cave-divers carried out a practice rescue, trying to save a man wounded and unable to surface by himself. Their made-up victim was stuck at a depth of 100 metres.  The situation complicated by flooding in the passages.

Another practice victim was dressed in a protective waterproof suit and given necessary equipment.  He was fastened to a special stretcher, but only able to breathe underwater using an oxygen mask.

“He communicated and gave us signals. You look into his eyes and everything is there,” Yury Bazilevsky, a speleologist from a city of Chelyabinsk, said.  

The most difficult stage of the operation is getting the stretcher through the narrow passages. It is hard for one person to swim through – three at a same time even more of a challenge. But within a couple of minutes the victim is on the surface.

The treacherous limestone terrain of the caves is filled with ravines and underground streams, leaving many potential hazards to divers.  But the successful training missions of these rescue workers shows that with the right preparation and readiness, divers can enjoy their hobby with a bit more security.