UPDATE 2: Man tangled in rope discovered after two days
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WRCB) -- A man is in critical condition after dangling from a rope course by his feet for 48 hours. It happened on a course at Greenway Farms off Gann Store Road.
The 57-year-old man was finally rescued Thursday by a hiker. The accident is raising a lot of questions, Melvin Davis told police his foot became entangled in rope when he fell.
The wall he was climbing wasn't made to climb with rope. There isn't rope there, and officials say he wasn't supposed to be climbing the wall at all.
"Anytime you go into the woods you should have someone with you," says Park Supervisor, Zane Fox. Friday Fox is checking out the area where a climber nearly died after a fall.
"There are a lot of signs warning people to stay off," he says.
The signs are obvious as you hike up the secluded trail. On the wall itself, two signs warn people to stay away without supervision.
"This smaller rope is your typical utility cord," says Philip Grymes with Outdoor Chattanooga.
The utility rope is similar to the one Davis used while climbing the wall alone.
"It's certainly not intended to support body weight," says Grymes.
Intended or not, that's what the rope did for two days after Davis became entangled and fell.
Grymes also hiked up the trail to check out the challenge course Friday morning.
"There are no ropes used at that particular wall," he says.
Grymes says Davis brought the rope himself, ignored signs to stay away and began to climb.
"The security platform appeared to have been broken off," he says. A hiker spotted Davis Thursday afternoon, helped him get down safely and called police.
The victim was taken to Erlanger where he's listed in critical condition. The trails through the challenge are maintained by the city and open to the public, but the courses are operated by a company called 'Adventure Guild'. Friday they issued a statement saying:
"We are currently investigating the matter to find out exactly how the incident happened. We wish the gentleman a swift recovery, however he did not have permission to use the course."
Grymes says the city is also taking a closer look. "There just seems to be a lot of unanswered questions," he says.
Doctors at Erlanger can't discuss Davis condition, but one doctor did tell us it's a miracle he survived.
It was cold, wet and windy on Tuesday which can cause hypothermia.
Hanging upside down for that amount of time would seriously restrict blood flow to lower body. This could lead to amputation.