Man survives 30 metre fall into confined space

A confined space rescue operation was executed in Cornwall to save a man’s life after he fell 30 feet into a mine shaft.

The hiker in his 50s was trapped for six hours after he fell down a disused mine shaft sustaining “serious injuries” and believed to have been suffering from hypothermia at the scene.

Rescuers had to get through an “hourglass” gap to extract the casualty in Porth Nanven, near St Just. A three hour multi-agency rescue operation included coastguards, firefighters, police, paramedics and volunteers from Cornwall Search and Rescue Team.

The first team members to arrive at the scene provided technical advice and support whilst Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service set-up at rigging system to enable the large rescue crew to perform necessary checks on the casualty. A rescue expert and a paramedic winched the shaft open using line rescue and support appliances to check him over. Once personnel were stabilised, the rescue team used a high directional system to create an anchor point inside the mine. After this, rescue members were lowered down to give first aid to the injured casualty and aided him onto a stretcher. Once securely fastened and extracted, the injured patient was airlifted to Derriford Hospital to receive treatment for his injuries.

Confined spaces are in more environments than you would believe. It is best to protect you, your workers, and others’ safety by ensuring they are properly trained and qualified to enter and work in confined spaces.

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