Multiple agencies have rescued a 22 year-old man from the bottom of Ellison's Cave on Pigeon Mountain. Ellison's Cave is the 12th deepest cave in the country. It contains Fantastic Pit, which is 586 feet, is the deepest underground pit in the continental United States.
Initial response team has reached patient. He is alert & oriented. Will begin process of preparing to haul him up Fantastic Pit & exit cave.
A Chattanooga-Hamilton County cave and cliff team was dispatched early Saturday morning to assist Walker County rescue teams. Together, the two agencies entered the cave around 7am. The man and another caver had been in Ellison's Cave for about seven hours when the patient became ill while he was about 100 feet off the floor climbing out of Fantastic Pit.
According to a spokeswoman for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue Service, the man is alone at the bottom of the Fantastic Pit inside the cave and unable to free himself due to "illness". His caving partner was able to free himself and go get help.
A haul system was rigged and the patient was hauled out of Fantastic Pit. He was then walked through the cave to the bottom of another 125 foot pit known as the Warm Up Pit where another haul system was rigged, according to CHCRS.
The patient was safely brought out of the cave at approximately 12:45 p.m. and his care was transferred to EMS. A total of 45 rescuers from agencies including Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue, Walker County Rescue, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources were on scene, with 26 rescuers working inside the cave during the operation.
Medical status of the patient is unknown at this time, although no injuries were reported.