Cave Rescue Portugal


The main mission of Cave Rescue Portugal is to perform rescue operations in caves.

Cave Rescue Portugal is currently a cave rescue team operating within the Portuguese Federation of Speleology (Federação Portuguesa de Espeleologia, FPE). All members of Cave Rescue Portugal are experienced speleologists and active cavers, members of caving groups affiliated with FPE. Currently the team comprehends 17 active rescuers and 1 medical doctor. All of them are volunteers.

Ad-hoc cave rescue training has been going on in Portugal since the early 1990s, in different institutions (including FPE, individual caving groups and official emergency services). However, there is as yet no official cave rescue system. Cave Rescue Portugal was originally set up in 2016 as a task force within FPE, having dedicated most of its efforts to training exercises, and evolving to the present state of an operational team. Negotiations with national authorities are under way, to acknowledge Cave Rescue Portugal as the primary cave rescue team in the country, to be integrated with the civil protection system and structure.

FPE is the leading speleology institution in Portugal, regrouping 23 individual caving groups representing over 85% of the active cavers in the country.


There are about 2000 known caves in Portugal, of varying length, depth and difficulty. There are three labyrinthic caves over 5 km in length, with Almonda being the longest – about 11 km. The three deepest caves range from – 220 m to – 268 m. While not very deep, many Portuguese caves present serious challenges to a rescue operation in the form of narrow crawlways and pits, meanders and watery passages.



+351 967094948 Sérgio Barbosa

+351 916817364 Vítor Gandra

+351 961697685 Manuel Soares