SPARTA, Tenn. (WATE) – Update (9 p.m.): Sparta-White County Volunteer Rescue Squad reporting they received information from dispatch that they were needed to assist in a cave rescue in the northeastern part of the county.
The trapped caver apparently fell about 10-feet and landed on a ledge. After falling, a boulder fell on his leg, possibly breaking it.
Chief Brown with Sparta-White County Volunteer rescue, reaching out to multiple agencies to aid in recovering the trapped caver.
“The cave system was very technical with several drops over 60’ increments and the the ledge the patient was climbing was reported to be about 100’ off the floor of a dome pit. We were going to need lots of specialist to perform this rescue work safely.”Chief Brown
Around 8 p.m. medical crews were about to get into the cave, and stabilize the victim and do rescue assessments.
Soon after, more teams of rescuers arrived and were able to establish rigging teams to deploy into the cave and build haul systems to lift the patient out of the cave.
“Before they could get to this point the patient had to be lowered to a window in the rock formations about half way down the 107’ drop. From there they started moving up the 60’ pits. There was one part of the cave where a Blasting Crew was sent, to do micro shaving on the rocks to open up the crawl space. At one point there where 31 rescuers inside the cave working diligently to be able to get our patient to safety. “Chief Brown
More rescuers were set up outside the cave with systems to haul the victim out of the last stretch of the cave.
Around 2:55 a.m. the victim was successfully extracted from the cave.
After transported down the mountain, the victim was transported to a local hospital to treat a femur injury.
“We could not have done this rescue without the prayers and support of the community and our mutual aid rescue teams that came in to help us. We cannot say thank you enough to Hamilton County Cave/Cliff Technical Rescue, Huntsville Cave and Rescue Unit, Knoxville Rescue, and White County EMS. There were many others that came to offer assistance as well from the local caving community and friends of the patient. Also we would like to thank the Sparta McDonalds for donating food hot chocolate and coffee on two separate occasions last night.”Chief Brown
A man who had been trapped in a cave near Sparta for hours was rescued early Saturday, according to rescue squads in White and Knox counties.
The injured man was brought out of the cave around 4:30 a.m. EST. His name and condition have not been released.
Before, rescuers were able to get him out of the cave, a medic rappelled and climbed to him to administer medical aid, according to a Facebook post on the Sparta Rescue Squad page.
Hand warmers were placed on him because he was cold from being underground and unable to move for so long, the post said. He was described as hurt and weary.
Crews chipped away rock to widen the passageway to get him out.
Knox County Rescue sent a team to assist in a cave rescue late Friday night.
WATE 6 On Your Side just spoke with the leader of the Knox County Rescue Cave and Vertical Rescue Team.
The cave was between Sparta and Cookeville. Knox County Rescue’s team worked with other crews for around seven hours. Those crews arrived back in Knoxville just before 9 a.m.
The Knox County Rescue team leader tells us, any time there is a large technical effort like this one, multiple agencies respond. The Sparta Rescue Squad said the rescue involved people from three states.
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