Having descended through Lower Long Churn into Alum Pot, a caver (m, 38) fell a distance of up to 5 or 6m from the bottom pitch, sustaining suspected injuries to ankle, femur, lower back and chest.
CRO members descended to the casualty, assessed his injuries, used a group shelter and heated waistcoat to warm him, administered pain relief and ‘packaged’ him in a vacuum mattress (whole-body splint) then placed him on a stretcher. This was hauled up the shaft by team members and firefighters of NYF&RS from Settle, passed over the surrounding wall to YAS HART personnel and other CRO members who carried the stretcher and patient to a team Land Rover. This drove him down to Selside and the waiting road ambulance took him to hospital.
Agencies involved, other than CRO: NYP, NYF&RS, YAS HART and YAS (local crew). UWFRA caving members were put on stand-by but not called out.
Volunteer hours: 231
Footnote: The haul up the shaft involved an ‘English Reeve’. This consists of a high-line across the top of the shaft with a pulley system which can be moved to different points along the line. This allows the stretcher to be hauled up the centre of the shaft (even though the shaft may change shape) and pulled to the edge at the top. The ‘mechanical advantage’ gained by use of the pulley system makes hauling the weight easier.