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News Epic 1,000 meter rescue attempt

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Kuenn, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    For those interested in vertical rescue, technique, rigging, and team work; there is currently an ongoing effort in southern Germany (near Berchtesgaden) to rescue a 52-year-old man injured in a rock fall, 1,000m deep (3,280ft) below the surface. "We have shafts that go straight down 350m (1,150 ft), where you have to abseil down and climb back up on a rope," Klemens Reindl told German TV.

    If all proceeds as expected, the injured man should reach the surface on Thursday or Friday of this week (6/19, 6/20). The accident occurred on June 8th and is in the 10th day of operation. At one point in the early days of the rescue, a neurosurgeon considered performing an operation on the victim.

    The multi-national group of medical and rescue personnel from all over Europe, mainly Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia and Germany, have come together to save a single man. "Every life is worth of being safed, despite some ugly comments in the reader comment sections of the German rainbow press about the huge cost of this enterprise", commented one European caver.

    (Opinion: The line between "for exploration and entertainment" and "for life or death" can change in an instant. Being prepared and having people resources that willingly sacrifice, time, expertise and materiel, is one of the most attractive attributes of the vertical community.)

    More info (some in german):
    BBC News
    Clock-ticks-on-rescue-of-Johann-Westhauser
    Video: From rescue
    Video: Press Conference
    Kevin and Ram like this.
  2. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Heroic. Not an exact science to minimize the risk of additional rock fall either.
  3. Ram

    Ram

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    The good of the one outweighs the good of the many

    Kirk saving Spock
    Kuenn likes this.
  4. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Amazing


    LNT
  5. townsend

    townsend

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  6. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Yes, the injured caver and all rescuers are now safely out of the cave. According to sources on the ground, local authorities are proposing to close the cave, given the location is now well known and fear of the thrill seeking herd mentality…my, how things come full circle.

    The article townsend posted at the bottom, as predicted, gives way to the negatives - why - justification for the expense - and ushers in the post rescue second-guessing phase. Granted, questions that need to be asked, but will ultimately produce the "we must protect the public from themselves" crusading. As Mountaineer pointed out, controlling rock falls is not exactly an exact science.

    From the article (feel free to insert canyons for caves…the argument is the same):
    "There are sound scientific reasons to explore caves but there are cavers, too, who do it for the thrill :help: of going where no human may have trod before.
    Whatever Johann Westhauser's motive was, it has turned out to be an expensive exercise, both in terms of money but also in terms of the sweat and risk expended by the people who have pulled him out."


    I suppose the logical conclusion is to pursue safer forms of leisure activities. Let's all flock to the interstate and head for the beach… please watch out for the texting hoi polloi along the way.
    Ram and Deagol like this.
  7. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Closing things because people get hurt and/or need rescue. Very sad. In fact, the opposite should occur: education, warnings, awareness.

    My will specifically states: if I ever die in a canyon or cave, etc, use a portion of my life insurance for improving the site, improving the awareness around the risks/skills, and doing everything possible to keep it open. I know I would roll over in my grave if it were closed due to a mistake (or just an accident) on my part.
  8. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Couldn't agree more.

    Another case in point, with more of the same "closure mentality":
    Eaton Canyon Closure - Pasadena, CA
    Posted by: W.B.

    Eaton Canyon above Pasadena, CA is at risk of closure. According to a leaked email conversation the USFS planned to close the area between the last two waterfalls to prevent injuries, deaths and rescues which have become increasingly more frequent in recent years. The majority of these incidents do not involve canyoneers but instead are thrill seekers coming up from below to access the penultimate waterfall which has a slide and plunge.​

    Until further notice, the planet Earth is now closed. Due to deaths and rescues which have become increasingly more frequent in recent years. o_O
    Ram, Deagol and Tom Collins like this.
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