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WATCH: Man airlifted after mine shaft rescue

WATCH: Man airlifted after mine shaft rescue

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 5:45pm 24th September 2017. (Updated at 1:40pm 25th September 2017)

Rescuers say a man who was trapped 15m down an old Cornish mine shaft for almost six hours has suffered "significant injuries".

The casualty in his 50s had landed on a narrow ledge at Porth Nanven near St Just, sparking a multi-agency operation.

Coastguards, firefighters, volunteers from Cornwall Search and Rescue Team, police and paramedics were all scrambled on Sunday lunchtime.

A technical rescue expert and a paramedic were winched into the shaft to check the casualty over.

mine shaft rescue 7

Rescuers gather at the rescue site on the cliff path

A firefighter and second paramedic were also lowered down to give first aid and get the man onto a stretcher.

Rescuing the casualty in his 50s was not made any easier by the sea mist rolling in from across the coast,

At 5pm, crews confirmed they were ready to lift the man through the adit on a stretcher, before he was flown to Derriford.

mine shaft rescue 8

The scene from halfway up the cliff path, leading to the rescue site

A spokesperson from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said: "On receipt of this call from Devon & Cornwall Police, appliances from St Just were mobilised as well as the line rescue appliance and a support appliance from Tolvaddon, two wholetime officers, and a further appliance from Penzance.

"Once on scene, it was confirmed that a male casualty in his mid 50s was at the bottom of a 15m dry shaft with a suspected hip injury and suffering the effects of hypothermia".

At 2pm, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said: "All resources are in place and setting up equipment to recover the casualty, as well as Cornwall Fire & Rescue resources in attendance Cornwall Search and Rescue Team are attending the incident. Ambulance personnel and the air ambulance are also in attendance".

mine shaft rescue 1

Coastguards scale the cliff path to reach the casualty as the fog rolls in

They later added: "A mutli-agency technical rescue is in progress involving Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service, Cornwall Search & Rescue Team, South West Ambulance Service Trust and National Coastguard Agency.

"A technical rescue supervisor and a paramedic have been lowered to the casualty to carry out an assessment".

At 4.15pm a spokesperson said: "Fire service personnel and a paramedic have been lowered to the casualty and are giving first aid. The casualty is now being prepared on a stretcher ready for extraction".

At 5pm they added: "The casualty has now been placed on a stretcher and is being removed from the shaft via the adit.

"All attending services are working jointly to effect the safe extraction of the casualty. Once retrieved a further medical assessment will be made".

mine shaft rescue 9

The signs that can be found along the coast path in the area

At 6.30pm the spokesperson said: "The incident has now successfully reached a conclusion. The casualty has been airlifted to Derriford Hospital.

Cornwall Search and Rescue Team said the walker had sustained "significant injuries", after landing on a narrow ledge.

A spokesperson said: "The first team members who arrived provided technical advice and support whilst Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service set up an initial rigging system to allow a paramedic to give pain relief and insulation from the cold.

"Once the casualty was stabilised, further CSRT mine rescue team members set up a high-directional system and created closer anchor points inside the mine itself. Once set up, team members and a firefighter then packaged the casualty in a confined space stretcher and with a team member acting as a stretcher attendant, the operation began to haul them out of the mine".

This video shows some of the difficulties the team were facing during the rescue...

"Upon reaching a constriction in the mine, the stretcher attendant had to transfer to a separate rope system, transferring back onto the stretcher system once this had been cleared.

"Further team members ran the hoisting system from the top of the mine, also running a deviation to prevent any rope rub in the difficult evacuation.

"Once the casualty and attendant were safely up onto the drive of the mine, the fire service were able to transfer the injured male to a scoop stretcher to be moved up to the surface.

"From there HM Coastguard continued the evacuation and Coastguard Rescue 924 winched him to hospital.

"The multi-agency rescue operation took over five hours and was attended by six mines rescue members and six surface members".

Watch more footage from the rescue...

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