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Cave rescue- New Mexico

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  • Cave rescue- New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - Rescuers worked through the night and said
    the extraction of a 14-year-old Boy Scout who fell off a ledge in a
    cave near Fort Stanton would likely take most of Friday.
    Reilly Walker, of Corona, fell Thursday afternoon while hiking
    in the cave with fellow members Boy Scouts. His family moved to New
    Mexico from Massachusetts last week, said Hans Stuart, chief of
    external affairs for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The cave
    is on BLM land.
    The teen suffered a laceration to the leg, but rescuers were not
    sure if it was broken, Stuart said.
    "They put his leg in a splint and they've got him all set and
    ready to go," he said in a telephone interview with The Associated
    Press from the mouth of the cave early Friday morning. "They're
    going to put him on a skid and have to lift him up and down very
    carefully. It's going to be a time consuming operation."
    Stuart estimated just after midnight Friday that the operation
    to bring Walker about a mile and a half out of the cave could take
    up to 20 hours.
    Walker fell about 15 feet at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday. A fellow
    Boy Scout stayed with him and helped to calm him when he panicked
    while others went for help, Stuart said.
    "He's doing fine," Stuart said of Walker. "He's in good
    spirits."
    The boy's father, Steven Walker, was at the scene awaiting his
    son's rescue.
    One of the major obstacles in the rescue is the cave's low
    ceiling.
    "You have to crawl or scooch down in many places," Stuart told
    the Roswell Daily Record Thursday. "In some places it only has a
    two-foot clearance. That's the challenge."
    The Fort Stanton cave, about 15 miles northeast of Ruidoso and a
    mile southeast of the fort, is third-longest in the state, Stuart
    said.
    Walker is a member of Boy Scout Troop 108 from Estancia. The
    troop camped with other troops in the area this week. A group of
    the scouts went into the cave exploring Thursday, Stuart said. A
    police officer was one of the adults with the group and climbed out
    to call for help.
    "It took him a full hour to get out, and he was hurrying,"
    Stuart said.
    Cavers and volunteers gathered at the cave to assist with the
    rescue, Stuart said, adding that more than 20 were already in the
    cave rigging the ropes.
    Exploration of the cave is restricted, but Stuart said the Boy
    Scouts had obtained the proper permits.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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