Thanksgiving Weekend Cave Rescue

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Thanksgiving Weekend Cave Rescue

Postby Buddy Lane » Nov 28, 2006 7:42 pm

Thanksgiving Weekend Cave Rescue

Many cavers had a great Thanksgiving holiday, but one Celina, Texas caver is particularly thankful to be out of a Jackson County, Alabama cave after being trapped for about twelve hours Saturday night and Sunday morning, stated Cave Rescue Captain Buddy Lane.

Rescuers from the Chattanooga Hamilton County Rescue Cave/Cliff/Technical Unit and the Scottsboro Jackson County Rescue Squad managed to rescue the stranded caver within a few hours of their arrival on the scene Sunday morning.

Caver Jay Jorden, along with seven other cavers from Texas and Georgia, spent Saturday exploring and surveying in a cave known as Bear Hollow Rift, located in Jackson County, Alabama. The cave is about 300 feet deep and requires explorers to rappel down a series of pits to reach the passages at the bottom.

While making his way out of the cave late Saturday evening, Jorden was unable to negotiate a very tight canyon at the top of a 45-foot deep pit. His fellow cavers spent about three hours trying to assist Jorden into the canyon, but were unsuccessful. In the process, Jordan became exhausted and was forced to retreat to the bottom of the pit and wait for aid.

One of Jorden's companions left the cave to call for help. He dialed 911 to reach the Jackson County rescue squad, which then requested assistance from the Chattanooga Hamilton County Rescue Service due to the technical nature of the cave. The CHCRS Cave and Cliff team has special equipment and expertise for enlarging cave passages and removing obstructions, as well as for deep cave rescue situations.

CHCRS team members including emergency physician David Wharton and paramedic Andy Voss reached the cave at about 9:00 a.m. CST. Voss entered the cave to assess Jorden's condition while other team members transported equipment to the entrance and prepared the rigging. Jorden was found to be in good shape despite his long wait in the damp, 55-degree cave.

Rescuers proceeded to mine away a projecting portion of the cave wall using micro-shaving techniques. They also used a battery-powered hammer drill to place an expansion bolt anchor higher in the pit, creating a better rig point for the climbing rope. Jorden was then able to climb to the top of the pit, where Voss helped him through the narrow spot and into the passage leading out of the cave.

After ascending the two remaining pits, Jorden reached the surface at 10:55 a.m. CST, just over 24 hours after he had entered on Saturday. He was tired but uninjured by the ordeal.

Submitted by,
Captain Buddy Lane
CHCRS Cave / Cliff / Technical Unit
27 November 2006
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Postby Dane » Nov 28, 2006 7:51 pm

Thanks for the post, Buddy - a good effort with a good outcome.
"Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed."
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