Advice for exploring caves in Colorado: Do it with an expert

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DENVER -- Cave rescues, like the one in  Thailand, can be some of the most dangerous types of rescues to undertake. Some say it is the most dangerous form of rescue because once inside, there is very little there to actually assist first responders.

As approaches to this rescue are considered, the news of the situation has resonated here in Colorado. “When I first heard about the missing, reaction was very very upsetting to us all," said Rick Speaect, National Cave Rescue Commission Instructor.

Speaect has been exploring caves for 20 years. “It’s almost like being on another planet. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe unless you actually do it,” he said.

Here in Colorado there are hundreds of known caves to explore. “Caves are typically in Colorado smaller, not large caverness caves, not huge water stream passage caves although there is water in a few caves," Speaect said.

Speaect  is a member of the Colorado grotto, a club of expert cavers. While they’ll be the first to welcome you into their club, they will also be the first to tell you of the potential dangers of dashing into the dark, “You have no communication, there is no sat phone, there is no GPS. There is no coverage, nothing," he said.

Natural caves, unlike man-made mines, are somewhat safer to explore, if you are properly trained or with an expert.

Speaect’s  advice for exploring caves in Colorado? Don’t do it, unless you know what you’re doing or you are with someone who does.

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