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Dad & son trapped in cave for 28 hours; I broke all the cardinal rules. I should have told someone I was going in.

Byline: PAT FLYNN

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

Dubliners Patrick Troy and his son Finn had entered the caving network at Pollnagollum in North Co 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 located.

Mr Troy praised 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.

"I've been caving for over 30 years but it's 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 thing [rescue] kicked into action.

"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. He told me he wouldn't go caving with me again."

A former member of the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation, Mr Troy said he knew they would be rescued. He added: "We managed to sleep and stay warm but I was always confident we would be rescued. I knew they'd be coming."

The caves, which run up to 20km in length are located on the eastern side of Slieve Elva between Lisdoonvarna and Ballyvaughan.

Members of the ICRO from several parts of the country were mobilised to the scene once the alarm was raised.

Spokesman Brian MacCoitir said: "At 2pm the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation received a call from Ennis gardai requesting assistance following a report of a father and son missing after a caving trip.

"Rescue wardens determined their car was still in place and initiated a national call-out of ICRO team members.

"A number of search and comfort teams entered the cave system which consists of about 20kms of passages on a number of different levels.

"The two missing men were located just after 5pm below the main junction in the main streamway.

"They were unable to locate the way on despite continuing to search throughout the night.

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

The 50-strong volunteer unit is the national rescue team and specialisest t team and specialises in cave and abandoned mine rescue across the 32 counties.

news@irishmirror.ie

My son Finn was very good because your mind can play tricks on you PATRICK TROY POLLNAGOLLUM, CO CLARE YESTERDAY

CAPTION(S):

RELIEF Scene in Co Clare yesterday

SAFE Finn Troy, centre, with rescuer

CAVE DANGER Entrance to network in North Clare

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 24, 2015
Words:490
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