Multiple rescue teams pulled an injured man from a cave in northeastern White County early Saturday morning.
The Sparta-White County Rescue Squad responded the scene after receiving a call at 6:01 p.m. Friday.
Chief Ray Brown said a boulder fell on the man’s leg after he fell 10 feet and lended on a ledge.
“After speaking with our special operations leader, I called Hamilton County Cave and Cliff Rescue in for assistance,” Brown said. “Assistant Chief Brian Krebs got his teams in route towards Sparta, while in meantime we discussed calling in other cave specialists from Knoxville Rescue, and Huntsville Cave and Rescue Unit.”
Brown said crews and medical teams entered the cave around 8 p.m. to begin patient stabilization and rescue assessments.
“Soon after, many more rescuers were showing up and rigging teams were put together to be deployed into the cave so they could build haul systems to get the patient up the vertical pits,” Brown said. “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.”
Brown said blasting crews entered the cave at one point during the operation to do micro shaving on the rocks and open up the crawl space.
Crews managed to extract the patient at 2:55 a.m. He received treatment at a hospital for 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,” Brown said.
More than 30 rescuers took part in the operation.