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Friday 9 December 2016

Father and son rescued after 28 hours in a cave

Patrick Troy (60) and his son Finn were rescued after losing their way while navigating the caves in north Clare
Patrick Troy (60) and his son Finn were rescued after losing their way while navigating the caves in north Clare

A father and son were rescued from a cave yesterday after getting lost and spending 28 hours underground.

Dubliners Patrick Troy (60) and his son Finn (22) 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 5pm yesterday.

Speaking after emerging from the cave network, Patrick 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.

Changed

"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 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. But he told me he wouldn't go caving with me again," Patrick quipped.

A former member of Irish Cave Rescue Organisation (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 (ICRO) would 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 ICRO were mobilised to the scene once the alarm was raised by gardai.

ICRO spokesman, Brían MacCoitir, said: "The two missing men were located just after 5pm below the main junction in the main streamway.

"While both were cold, they were in good spirits and exited the cave with the assistance of the ICRO team," Mr MacCoitir added.

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