Harrowing video shows cave explorers almost drown as water pours in

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Harrowing video shows cave explorers almost drown as water pours in
Harrowing video shows cave explorers almost drown as water pours in

A harrowing video has emerged which shows cave explorers almost drown as water pours in leaving them trapped.

The amateur group released video footage of their terrifying escape from a flooding tunnel.

Members of the caving group 'Jock and Taff Caving' showed how water quickly flooding in - threatening to trap them underground.

The group had been exploring a series of caves in Nant-Frith in North Wales on December 23 when it began to rain.

Tiler Mark Lavoie, 42, and his pals Jamie 'Jock' Maclean, 47, and Craig Hughes, 33, said the water quickly started to pour in as the rain picked up - and they were able to get out just in time.

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Harrowing video shows cave explorers almost drown as water pours inThe raging torrent of water coming into a cavern in North Wales when Mark Lavoie and his friends tried to leave the cave system (Mark Lavoie / SWNS)
Harrowing video shows cave explorers almost drown as water pours inMark Lavoie (left) with friends Jamie (centre) and Craig before their brush with death in a cave (Courtesy Mark Lavoie / SWNS)

The former Royal Navy veteran from North Wales has since taken to social media warning other amateur cavers to check the weather before exploring caves.

The dad-of-three said: "It was night time when we got started. When we got there, there was only a little bit of water coming in - so we brushed that off.

"We went past that and had a bit of an explore in the caves for maybe two or three hours - but as we started to come out the first thing we saw was all this water coming in.

Harrowing video shows cave explorers almost drown as water pours inThe cavers had been exploring a series of caves in the North Welsh Nant-Frith area when it began to rain (Mark Lavoie / SWNS)
Harrowing video shows cave explorers almost drown as water pours inMark Lavoie and his friends tried to leave the cave system ASAP (Mark Lavoie / SWNS)

"Initially it was a little bit exciting, we were sort of like 'wow look at that' as the water flowed in - it was quite interesting to see how much of it there was.

"But after that, it started to get a bit terrifying. We all remembered those 13 Thai boys who had got trapped underground by the rain, so we quickly started to try and escape."

Footage of the incident showed painter Craig, a dad of two from North Wales, starting to climb around the gushing water, but found it was far deeper than expected.

Craig and their Scottish friend Jock, a painter, are later seen clambering around a water-filled hole in the floor of the cave - thankfully escaping their peril.

Despite the risks, Mark said they all got into cave exploring for the adventure of it - enjoying the risky thrills and gaining 20,000 followers on their TikTok account @jock_and_taff_caving by filming their adventures.

He added: "We stumbled upon caving about six months ago, it looked terrifying but great fun. A little later, me and Jamie were out and saw this tiny hole in a rock with a drop and just thought - shall we do it?

Harrowing video shows cave explorers almost drown as water pours inWater flooded into the tunnel they were exploring and threatened to trap them underground (Mark Lavoie / SWNS)
Harrowing video shows cave explorers almost drown as water pours inMark Lavoie and his mates Jamie 'Jock' Maclean and Craig Hughes became worried after the water started to pour in as the rain picked up (Mark Lavoie / SWNS)

"We went and got some headlights and a rope, and just squeezed in. Now it's an everyday thing.

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"At the beginning, it was proper dangerous, but we've learned a lot since. We've had a few scary moments - only about a month ago Jamie was hanging on a rope with no idea how far the drop was below him.

"This is also the second time we had some worries about flooding - though last time it was more dangerous because we were much further underground, but it rained less."

Ed Cullinane

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