Five people, three tourists and two tour guides, were rescued from a cave in Slovakia yesterday afternoon after diving underground on Saturday morning. Cave tourism is popular in Slovenia, thanks to the crystal clear, azure underwater lakes. The tourists and guides descended into the Križna Jama Cave, also named Cross Cave or Cold Cave, under Cross Mountain, in Slovenia’s Lož Valley, in the area between the Lož Karst Field, Cerknica Karst Field, and Bloke Plateau.
The five went into the cave at 8 am on Saturday morning, however, due to a rapid rise of underground waters due to heavy rain the preceding days, they remained trapped between two of the cave’s lakes. As they did not return by 3 pm, as they were supposed to, a third guide, following protocol, conducted a reconnaissance survey from the entrance to the 9th lake of the cave, but he did not find the missing persons and returned to the exit.
Upon returning outside, the third guide called the Slovenian Cave Rescue Service (JRS) at 5:25 pm, which arrived at the scene at 6 pm, but could not immediately intervene as the water levels were still too high to safely bring the trapped people out. Moreover, the water temperature inside the cave was 6˚C with very low visibility.
Nevertheless, divers were able to reach the tourists and guides, trapped on a patch of dry land between two lakes about 2 kilometres from the cave’s entrance, in a location of the cave known as Križna Gora. The next day, a second team of divers refreshed the trapped persons’ supply of food, drinks and heating equipment, but water levels were still too high to bring them back out.
On Sunday evening, the JRS announced water levels started decreasing and, on Monday morning, they were low enough for a rescue team to reach the missing people by boat. “The morning brings positive information; the water level in Križna jama has decreased overnight. At this moment, it is already possible to navigate a boat through the first siphon, which is very promising for the rescue of trapped individuals”, the service wrote on Facebook.
The rescuers were able to enter the cave in the morning and reached the tourists and guides in the afternoon, Everyone safely came out of the cave 3:05 pm, the JRS announced on Facebook.