Picture 1: A Dudley Caving Club member carrying tackle, across a traverse above a 30m winze, to the site of the incident.

Member of DCC carrying rope across top of winze

Pictures 2 & 3: The victim from the far winze being hauled over another 30m deep winze.

Victim passing over 30m deep winze

Victim in Neil Robinson stretcher passing over 30m deep winze


Scenario - Incident in Clive Mine
An apparently simple scenario was organised with the 'leader' of a party of three (Alan Moseley - the Club's First Aid Officer) falling near the Baryte Stope, in Clive Mine, Shropshire. One inexperienced person remained with the casualty while the other went for help reporting his belief that the casualty had possible head injuries and a broken upper leg.

When the initial rescuers arrived at the scene there was no sign of the inexperienced person left with the casualty - this person was later found at the bottom of a winze at the far end of the upper mine level.

One reason for having Alan Moseley as the casualty was to 'test' the First Aid knowledge of the rescuers.

The person at the bottom of the far winze presented a particular problem in that there was no rigging for the winze and the rock is not strong enough to bolt! To emphasise the potential for communication problems, the radios were not available. John Priest, who was asked to take control of the underground situation became very frustrated when his repeated requests for rope (to descend the winze) produced no results for a long time.

Another deliberate part of the practice was to compare the use of a frame mounted Neil Robinson stretcher with a cocoon stretcher for pulling through a quite awkward dog-leg infill. Surprisingly, the Neil Robinson stretcher proved to be much more satisfactory!

The general consensus after the event was to emphasise the importance of communications and the desirability of including some rope with the first response equipment. It may have been a mistake to have two casualties with a small number of persons but having given it further thought, resources should be stretched to learn the most.

Report by: Steve Holding

All Pictures: Mike Worsfold.