Explorers Connect

Tunisia - Cave Rescue Training 2012 Report

Trip ReportJames Hipkiss

Successfully finished the mission of the 6 - Bulgarian cavers team in Tunisia. Group which was composed of representatives of Sofia caving clubs Academic, Vertilend, Keving, Helicitit and Black Peak: Alexei Zhalov - Head; Gyorev Vanyo, Kamen Bonev, Constantin Stoilov, Nikolai Kamenov and Svetlomir Stanchev from the SC Prista - Ruse carried out the 6-day course for initial training for cave rescue techniques. From the Tunisian side event was organized by the Association Sport for All and the Speleological Association of Zaghouan.

Its realisation was supported by speleo equipment and financially by the Fund Euro Speleo Projects of the European Federation of Speleology a result of prepared and submitted by the SCVertilend- Sofia project. In the training took part 3 cavers from Algeria, 2 Iranians, 4 cavers from Morocco and 12 from the host country or a total of 21 persons. The practical exercises was held in a labyrinth of abandoned mine ores at the foot of the Zaghouan Mt. (1295 m above the sea) rising above the town. The natural range enable the participants to learn and practice techniques for dealing with stretcher transportation in a cave, rigging , the hauling up of the stretcher in vertical sections of pulley and counterweight system, building and running a trolley, haul down the stretcher etc.

Someone managed to master most of the above methods and others of them, but in the end everyone left the course with more knowledge and skills certified for participation in courses, but not that he is a qualified Cave rescuer . The course enabled the Bulgarian cave rescuers to share their experiences in cave rescue. During his stay in Tunisia the Bulgarian cavers penetrated in 4 caves in Jebel Serge Massif (1375 m above the sea) located about 150 km southwest of Tunis.

Larger than they are Rhar Jebel Serge or mainsail de la pass which is the deepest cave in Tunisia (displacement of 305,8 m (+139.3; -166.5) and a length of 2.5 km) and fantastic water cave Rhar d'Ain et Dab which is 2.7 km long. During the stay was collected zoological material from outside, and in particular cave invertebrate fauna. Undoubtedly made one of the secondary, but important destinations of the Bulgarian mission - to lay the foundations for fruitful cooperation with cavers from North Africa and Southwest Asia. We believe that our mission in Tunisia was very useful and successful and we hope it can be appreciated at home and abroad.

The group due to their and our foreign colleagues sincere and heartfelt thanks to Nicola Landzhev and his company Landjoff for his exceptional assistance to having made especially for this training cave rescue stretcher - something without which the training would be impossible.