Cave Rescue

The RAT-SAR team spent the weekend with teams from North Carolina for their third annual cave rescue exercise. The event has grown since its inception three years ago with more rescuers and teams participating. This year’s event featured a multi-drop vertical that required the rescuers to navigate tight horizontal passage, as well as raising the patient through three vertical drops. The rescue required improvising anchor systems, building friction reducing high directionals, and using techniques taught in the RAT-SAR Limited Resources Rescue class. The rescue exercise lasted 10 hours with the previous day spent going over improvised climbing techniques, building mechanical advantage systems, measuring vector forces, and testing various systems with load cells and dynamometers. Once again, we can’t say enough good things about the North Carolina SAR and MSAR teams for their expertise, knowledge and thinking out of the box. If you are a member of a wilderness or mountain search and rescue team and would like to participate in the next exercise, contact RAT-SAR ( to be added to the roster.