Critically injured man rescued from Ellison's Cave

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 5/27/2013 7:03 pm
WALKER COUNTY, Georgia(WDEF) -  A Pennsylvania man is in critical condition after being rescued from Ellison's cave in Walker County; a cave that is listed as the 12th deepest in the United States.

According to authorities, Four experienced cavers were more than a mile deep into the cave doing what's called a pass through when one of them fell more than 50 feet down a vertical drop.

One of the men climbed out of the cave to call for help. Two other cavers in the group climbed down the hole to reach their injured partner.

"The two that left, got down to him  and began to administer first aid. He had an obvious open fracture of the femur," said Walker County emergency services director David Ashburn.

Once authorities were notified, an emergency rescue team was the first to go down. Before long, 105 experienced cave rescuers drove in from all over the region to help. 
"We get there and get him stabilized and figure what we're going to need actually," said Andrew Voss of the Hamilton County Cave Rescue Team.

They soon realized they needed an advanced medical team to tend to his injures which included a broken leg and ribs but that was just the least of their concerns while trying to pull him to safety.
"He's got a cut to his head with probably a skull fracture at the base of the skull based on the way he looks. He got progressively more confused as he was coming out and so we were definitely concerned he could have a bleed in his head that could kill him," said Dr. David Wharton of Erlanger Hospital.

After several hours of tending to his injures while pulling him out of the cave, A life force helicopter was called in to fly the critically injured caver to Erlanger Hospital.

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