At 19:40 on Saturday the 3rd of February 2024, the team was called out by Devon & Cornwall Police to assist in the rescue of 2 people trapped in an abandoned mine in East Cornwall. Our volunteers rapidly mobilised to support our friends and colleagues in East Cornwall Search & Rescue Team, alongside Paramedic colleagues from South Western Ambulance Service's Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and officers from Devon & Cornwall Police.
Initial reports suggested that 2 people were trapped in the mine with one trapped by being stuck in suspension on the ropes after going into the mine at 11:00 that morning. A friend who raised the alarm when the party failed to return from underground had managed to lower the injured party down to the safety of a ledge and the other person made their way to the surface. This left one patient and one member of public around 45ft down the mine shaft on the edge of a ledge with a significant drop to the side of him.
The patient was exhausted and suffering from injuries due to being held in suspension for a significant amount of time. On arrival we got to work assisting the great work already being done on scene by our East Cornwall colleagues. A HART Paramedic and one other of our team members were lowered down the shaft to the patient where they administered drugs and stabilised the patient before packaging them into one of our specialist cave stretchers then hauled out to the surface shortly before 0100hrs.
The patient was then stretchered down the waiting ambulance before being taken to hospital for further checks by a lovely ambulance crew. A long cold wet night for our team of volunteers but one with a good outcome.