Caver rescued, hospitalized after fall - TN

Discuss training events, techniques, equipment, safety and related issues. Click here to visit the National Cave Rescue Commission webpage.

Moderator: Tim White

Caver rescued, hospitalized after fall - TN

Postby Evan G » Mar 14, 2007 11:26 am

Caver rescued, hospitalized after fall

By News Sentinel staff
March 14, 2007

Link: http://tinyurl.com/2uknb2

MAYNARDVILLE — A 27-year-old man is in serious condition today at the University of Tennessee Medical Center after being rescued from a Union County cave.

Christopher Pique was rappelling in a cave off Hickory Valley Road when his rope broke, and he fell about 75 to 80 feet.

"They had an old rope tied to a tree," said Paulette Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Tony Owen. "It’s one they’d always used. The weather dry-rotted it, so it ended up breaking on them."

Pique suffered lacerations to his head and was airlifted by Lifestar about 1:30 a.m. today.

He and three friends were exploring in a cave when he fell about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, Owen said.

One of the men stayed in the cave while the others summoned help.

The men said they frequently visited the cave, Owen said. They were carrying flashlights and had a couple of headlamps.

The cave opening is not very large, Owen said, and it contains a couple of 30-foot dropoffs broken by ledges as well as some shorter drops.

Pique was descending when his rope broke, and he fell about 30 feet before striking a ledge and falling another 30 feet or so.

He struck the back of his head and was "in and out of consciousness," Owen said.

Rescuers from Paulette, the Maynardville Fire Department and the Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad hauled Pique out in a basket using rope and rigging equipment.

Owen’s advice about cave exploration: "Don’t do it.

"I feel unless you’re properly trained and have the proper equipment, stay out of it. It’s so unpredictable in there."

None of the rescuers was injured, Owen said.
Evan G
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mar 12, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Name: EEG
NSS #: 28685
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NRMG
  

Postby Evan G » Mar 14, 2007 11:36 am

One man seriously hurt in Union County cave accident

By: Kevin Massey, Associate Producer
Date created: 3/14/2007 7:19:30 AM
Last updated: 3/14/2007 10:09:41 AM

Page link:http://tinyurl.com/2hoqd6 Video Link: http://www.wbir.com/video/player.aspx?aid=41369&bw=

A cave rescue in Union County sent one man to the hospital early Wednesday morning.

Crews were called to the cave near hickory valley road around 10:15 Tuesday night.

Officials say a man believed to be in his early to mid 20's fell 70 to 80 feet inside the cave.

He and at least one other young man were exploring at the time. The second man was not seriously hurt.

A few people outside the cave apparently ran for help. Rescuers from Paulette, Maynardville and Knoxville responded and eventually pulled out the man who fell.

An ambulance took him to a waiting Lifestar helicopter, which flew him to UT Medical Center.

Fire officials say there's a lesson to be learned from this accident.

"Don't go in caves," said Tony Owen, Assistant Chief with the Paulette Volunteer Fire Department. "If you do, I suggest you be trained and have the proper rope equipment."

The man who was seriously hurt may have head injuries. His name and condition are not being released.

The two men had apparently explored the cave in the past.
Evan G
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mar 12, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Name: EEG
NSS #: 28685
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NRMG
  

Postby Carl Amundson » Mar 14, 2007 12:05 pm

"They had an old rope tied to a tree," said Paulette Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Tony Owen.
"It’s one they’d always used. The weather dry-rotted it, so it ended up breaking on them."


OMG... :doh:
It makes you wonder what they were using to reppel and ascend with??
User avatar
Carl Amundson
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 681
Joined: Nov 8, 2006 11:27 am
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Name: Carl Amundson
NSS #: 50213
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Front Royal and Tri-State Grottos
  

Postby Stridergdm » Mar 14, 2007 12:07 pm

junkman wrote:
"They had an old rope tied to a tree," said Paulette Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Tony Owen.
"It’s one they’d always used. The weather dry-rotted it, so it ended up breaking on them."


OMG... :doh:
It makes you wonder what they were using to reppel and ascend with??


Why, the lightest SRT system there is.. hand over hand. :-)

(at least that's my bet.)
User avatar
Stridergdm
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 930
Joined: Nov 1, 2005 10:08 am
Location: Capital District NY and Northern Virginia
Name: Greg Moore
Primary Grotto Affiliation: RPI Grotto
  

Postby Tim White » Mar 14, 2007 1:06 pm

I'm attempting to get more beta from some of the rescue squads that responded.
Be safe,
Tim White 26949 RL FE

Southeastern Region Coordinator - NCRC
Editor, Nylon Highway
Senior Technical Manager - Over the Edge, Inc.
User avatar
Tim White
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 848
Joined: Sep 8, 2005 11:57 am
Location: Suwanee, GA
  

Postby tagcaving » Mar 14, 2007 3:13 pm

Did a cave rescue squad respond or was it a local rescue?
To The Bitter End,
Andy Porter, 26258FERL

Image
User avatar
tagcaving
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Feb 8, 2007 1:46 pm
Location: Georgia
  

Postby JoeyS » Mar 14, 2007 8:49 pm

I think it would be mighty useful to us to find out how the "rope broke" :shock:, or whatever the point of failure was.. That sort of thing doesn't just happen willy-nilly.
________________
Joey Stuckey
JoeyS
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Aug 8, 2006 11:22 am
Location: Middle Tennessee
NSS #: 57719
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Nashville Grotto
  

Postby Realms » Mar 14, 2007 9:35 pm

they mentioned that it had dry rotted
never stop imagining what could someday come to pass...
User avatar
Realms
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 273
Joined: Sep 19, 2005 8:11 pm
Location: Huntsville,Alabama
  

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Mar 14, 2007 10:21 pm

Realms wrote:they mentioned that it had dry rotted

Does that mean it was a natural fibre rope? I've never heard of Kernmantle (nylon) rope rotting.
User avatar
fuzzy-hair-man
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 955
Joined: Apr 6, 2006 2:09 am
Location: Canberra, Australia
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NUCC
  

Postby Stridergdm » Mar 15, 2007 6:15 am

fuzzy-hair-man wrote:
Realms wrote:they mentioned that it had dry rotted

Does that mean it was a natural fibre rope? I've never heard of Kernmantle (nylon) rope rotting.


That would be my guess.

Given the paltry details, I'm guessing something not much more than cotton clothesline.
User avatar
Stridergdm
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 930
Joined: Nov 1, 2005 10:08 am
Location: Capital District NY and Northern Virginia
Name: Greg Moore
Primary Grotto Affiliation: RPI Grotto
  

Postby Tim White » Mar 15, 2007 7:43 am

tagcaving wrote:Did a cave rescue squad respond or was it a local rescue?


I understand that the Knoxville Rescue Squad's Cave/Vertical Team responded along with local agencies.
Be safe,
Tim White 26949 RL FE

Southeastern Region Coordinator - NCRC
Editor, Nylon Highway
Senior Technical Manager - Over the Edge, Inc.
User avatar
Tim White
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 848
Joined: Sep 8, 2005 11:57 am
Location: Suwanee, GA
  

Postby Evan G » Mar 15, 2007 9:36 am

Emergency Workers Talk About Cave Rescue with Video
Posted: 10:58 PM Mar 14, 2007
Last Updated: 6:44 AM Mar 15, 2007

Link to Page: http://tinyurl.com/27dtcp

Union County (WVLT) - We have a first-hand account from rescuers who pulled an unconscious explorer from the bottom of a Union County cave.

Twenty-seven-year-old Christopher Pique continues to recover Tuesday after his line broke and he fell 80-feet down.

Members of the Paulette Volunteer Fire Department return to a sliver of a hole in the ground, off Hickory Valley Road in Union County, north of Maynardville. Unseen beneath this crevice is a cave that travels 80-feet underground.

"There were two, 30-foot ledges they had to bring him straight up over, so it was tough, it was tough getting him out," Volunteer Firefighter Tony Owen says.

Assistant Chief Owen helped rope rescue the head-injured patient, who was in and out of conciousness.

"Real muddy, damp, it was cool, the rocks were just real slick, and just real steep," Owen continues.

"Most anybody can grab a rope and jump into a cave," Firefighter Matt Lovitt says.

Problem was, the dry-rotted rope snapped.

"It was a little work rope that was tied right here around this tree," Owen says.

Members of the Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad clean up and re-pack gear after helping with the rescue.

Armand Mendez, Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad 20:42>-
"As we entered the cave, I was on rope 100-percent of the time, and at no point did I come off that rope," Armand Mendez says.

Companions of the patient came out of the cave unhurt.

"The gentlemen that were in the cave had no caving gear at all, they had no helmets, no harnesses," Mendez continued.

Nearly two dozen unpaid volunteers from four different agencies helped rescue the men.
Evan G
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mar 12, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Name: EEG
NSS #: 28685
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NRMG
  

Postby JoeyS » Mar 15, 2007 10:47 am

Hmm that clears things up a bit. Thanks Evan
________________
Joey Stuckey
JoeyS
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Aug 8, 2006 11:22 am
Location: Middle Tennessee
NSS #: 57719
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Nashville Grotto
  

Postby YuccaPatrol » Mar 25, 2007 8:50 pm

Hmmm. . .

"Caver rescued, hospitalized after fall "

I wouldn't exactly call this person a caver anymore than I would call someone a base jumper if they were suicidal and jumped off a bridge.

Lucky to be alive though and that is a good thing. . .
User avatar
YuccaPatrol
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Oct 12, 2006 7:54 am
Name: Andrew Mobley
NSS #: 58447
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Huntsville Grotto
  

Postby Stelios Zacharias » Mar 26, 2007 9:59 am

Problem was, the dry-rotted rope snapped.

"It was a little work rope that was tied right here around this tree," Owen says.



Could someone help out on the idiom for cavers on the other side of the lake - "work rope" is what exactly? Are we talking about a kernmantle rope made for climbing / caving?

I have recently put all our old ropes (some approaching 10 years old) through drop tests and even the most manky-looking ones held up fine. I would be very interested in more details about this incident if it was a proper rope that failed. I have not read of a rope failing before.

Stelios
User avatar
Stelios Zacharias
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Apr 6, 2006 11:35 am
Location: Athens, Greece
  

Next

Return to Cave Rescue Techniques Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users