Injured caver rescued after he was hit by falling rock

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A man had to be rescued in an eight hour operation after he was hit by a falling rock while climbing.

At 4.30pm on Saturday, October 22, the Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation were called to rescue the injured caver who was climbing an 80 metre deep underground shaft in the James Hall Mine near Castleton.

The man had suffered head injuries but was able to complete his climb with the assistance of a companion who then went to the surface to summon help.

A very difficult eight hour operation then followed involving more than 50 cave rescue volunteers. A team of a dozen descended shafts from the surface and made their way to the cavern where the injured man lay.

First aid was administered and he was then insulated against the cold and wet and strapped into a special stretcher while team members set up a rope system to safely lower him back down the 80 metre shaft.

They then manoeuvred him down through constrictions among boulders to where a further team of 20 volunteers supported by Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team paramedics were waiting to take him out to the surface along over a kilometre of partly flooded cave and mine passages.

James Hall’s Over Engine Mine is a long abandoned lead mine that provides access via old workings and a number of deep shafts into the extensive Peak Cavern/Speedwell Cavern natural cave system nearly 200 metres below. It is a popular venue for cavers with trips there taking place every week