Is caving dangerous?

Question:

I’m a teacher from Manchester LEA, I am organing a trip to an Outdoor Education Centre in Yorkshire and caving is on their list of activities.  Some parents have expressed concerns because of the recent accident.  I would like them to do it but I need to convince the parents.  Can you tell me anything that might set their minds at ease?

Answer:

I understand the parents concern but I think that most of it will stem from their own misconception of what caving involves.  With regards to general safety young people are much safer down a cave than they are in the car, at home, at school or on any transport you care to mention.  A very sad but unforeseeable accident has occurred but that should not result in caving being labelled dangerous.  It does of course have inherent dangers but an excellent and thorough instructor scheme, risk assessment and good practice makes the risks extremely manageable.

Caving is not all crawling, sometimes it’s simply a very interesting and unusual walk.  The Outdoor Centre you are visiting will choose a cave based on your needs and the weather on the day.

Caving does not necessarily mean water, not all caves have water running through them but most will see some water during heavy and prolonged rain, which means we don’t go!

Caving is excellent for team building, has high levels of activity and enjoyment and is often the favourite activity for the youngsters at High Adventure.

I hope this gives you something to convince the parents with

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