Pennsylvania Man Rescued From North Georgia Cave - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Pennsylvania Man Rescued From North Georgia Cave

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Lafayette, GA -

A life force helicopter flies in to pick up the caving victim.

Paramedics and doctors on site knew the 54-year-old caver suffered serious injuries.

A shot of the fantastic pit inside Ellison Cave shows it's a straight drop of 586 feet, the deepest unobstructed pit in the country.

Passageway connects this pit to incredible pit on the other side of the cave. That's where the victim fell.

David Ashburn, Walker County Emergency Services director, says, "Fell about 30 feet, bounced and went over a scree section, which is kind of a breakdown of the rock section and stuff, another 30-40 feet after that."

A well-coordinated effort of rescuers from Walker and Hamilton Counties teamed up with out of state help.

Paramedic Andrew Voss works with Hamilton County Cave and Cliff Rescue.

He was one of the first ones there.

Voss says, "This is a pretty challenging place. We expected it to take a lot longer than it did. But we just, we've worked with Walker County and Huntsville so much that we're becoming a well-oiled machine."

The victim suffered a severely broken leg, head trauma and possible broken ribs.

Dr. David Wharton provided medical assistance down inside the cave.

Dr. Wharton, "When we talk to paramedics about trauma, we talk about the golden hour which is one hour we want them to be in a trauma center. in cave rescue, it's a golden day and we got him there and he's still alive, that's two thumbs up."

And down deep in this pit, Dr. Wharton says the victim's friends provided life-saving first aid.

They were very astute to get that controlled enough to where we could then splint, we just left the dressing on.

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