Sunday, August 19, 2012

Think Before You Cache

     There are dangers in caching, just like there are dangers in crossing the road or walking down your stairs.  People ! Ya gotta think about what you are doing!

     The thinking thing may not have been exactly what these three, grown adults, we doing when going after this cache in the Rochester, New York area.  The cache was hidden in a cave which was a bit of a challenge to begin with.  Add in the weather and you have the making of a disaster.  In this case, luck was with the cachers.

Here's the story from WHAM - TV 13 - ABC

Rochester, N.Y. --- Three people trapped in a cave 75-feet above the Genesee River Tuesday afternoon were on a Geocaching hunt.
The 24 year-old woman and her father (53 years-old) and mother (46 years-old) were rescued by about two dozen Rochester Firefighters who used ropes and pulleys to raise each about fifty feet to safety.
Geocaching is a real-world GPS treasure hunting game that is played by thousands if not millions worldwide.  The objective is to locate various cache’s that can be something as ordinary as a pen or notepad or more elaborate boxes with toys, tools, trinkets, or instructions to do a certain task.  When one locates their desired cache they log it online at geocaching websites.
The particular target of this geocaching expedition appears to be “The Orc’s Treasure” according to this geocaching website.  It is described as being a 30-cal ammo box with a VHS tape, a knife, flashlight, and other objects inside. 

Tuesday afternoon while fire crews were in the midst of rescuing the trapped family a post from one geocache seeker on this particular site read, “Just saw a news flash bulletin that ‘people were trapped in a cave’ near ‘Seth Green Drive’ and that ‘ER Personnel were at the scene’ – gosh I hope this is not a group of geocache seekers caught inside this lair!”
Later that day a reply to that post appears to come from one of the three people trapped.
“Yes we were indeed looking for the geocache before a storm hit & water quickly rushed up to our waists. All three of us made it out safely with the assistance of many first responders. For future cachers, if it's raining...get out quick!”
The person responsible for hiding this cache ten years ago also weighed in posting, “I have been watching the news. I am so glad you guys are okay! Yes, you don't want to be in there after a rain. Or during a rain. Or if it is supposed to rain.”
That person later posted a warning to future geocache seekers that caution should be used when entering that cave area during or after a rain storm of if one is forecasted.
From this geocaching site it appears that perhaps hundreds of cache seekers have found this particular cache over the years without any prior incidents being reported.
Rochester Fire Department spokesman Lt. Ted Kuppinger is also someone who has played the geocache game in the past and he offered some additional advice to others.
"It's difficult because you're invested in it you want to find something like that so people will probably try to push themselves more than they should but you need to be prudent about what you're capable of doing,” Lt. Kuppinger said.  “Where they were is typically probably a fairly dry area so circumstances were unusual for them but again prudence is; look at what you're doing, look at your situation, take in your surroundings, and look at the bigger picture don't get mono-focused on what you're trying to accomplish look at the bigger picture and say is this safe or should I come back another day?”

     So there you have it.  This sport isn't exactly for those who choose to act first and think later.  At some point, luck may run out. 
If you want to watch the news video, just click here.


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