I remember that rescue well. To have an accident like the casualty suffered (broken tibia) beyond the waterfall in Southern Stream Passage was not a good place to be, and on getting the phone call from rescue on the Saturday evening I thought ‘Oh no, why there?’ or maybe something slightly more profane perhaps.
The stretcher used then was the usual Neil Robertson stretcher, modified with ametal frame and it was heavy, so just getting it to the accident site took some effort. Bringing it back fully loaded with the casualty, through the confined passages was a long arduous slog. For a lot of people on that rescue, it was the first time they had ever been down SSP and I think several swore never to return there. By the time we got the stretcher to Aggie’s entrance series, evacuation of the casualty was quite swift as the passages were literally filled with people and we were able to pass the stretcher quickly.
The turn out by cavers responding to the call out was brilliant. If memory serves me well, the casualty exited the cave at around 1300hrs on the Monday, having had the accident at 1400hrs on Saturday.
The casualty subsequently made a good recovery from his ordeal and joined Chelsea S.S. remaining a member until the early 2000s. He and his wife travel all over southern America and Africa working there, and still keep in touch with the old lags at CSS.