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Rescuers: German researcher out of cave

After nearly two weeks underground in Germany's deepest cave, injured researcher Johann Westhauser has been rescued and brought to the surface, German media have reported.

Rescuers brought cave researcher Johann Westhauser to the surface on Thursday at 11:44 a.m. local time (9:44 UTC).

A medical station had been set up at the mouth of the cave so Westhauser could receive immediate medical attention.

After a short pause overnight, the team resumed work early on Thursday morning to bring Westhauser, who was strapped to a stretcher, the final 180 meters (590 feet) to the surface. The progress was slow going, however, because the team had to haul him by hand through the narrow winding passage.

Westhauser suffered head injuries in a rockslide on June 8 while nearly 1,000 meters underground in the Riesending cave system in the Alps near the Austrian border. He had been with two companions when the rockslide struck, however they escaped without significant injury.

Riesending, which literally translates as "massive thing," was discovered in 1995 during surveying work and is Germany's deepest and largest cave system. It boasts a 19.2-kilometer-long network of paths extending 1,148 meters below ground.

Since the accident, rescuers and doctors from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy have helped in the complicated rescue.

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Moot June 19 2014 at 9:11 AM

This was a fantastic piece of writing on this cave diving stuff.....

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/04/21/140421fa_fact_bilger?currentPage=all

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1 reply
bonbis448 Moot June 19 2014 at 12:19 PM

once you find this article, it is fantastic, seems to cover a multitude of aspects, thanks for putting this here!

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cpruitt221 June 19 2014 at 12:09 PM

I hope they let us know how he is doing and how serious the injuries are. I hope there is a positive outcome.

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1 reply
EChris219 cpruitt221 June 19 2014 at 1:55 PM

Yes...maybe when he's better, he'll climb down another hole in the ground, bump his head and yell "Come get me!"

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hotelsierraone June 19 2014 at 10:19 AM

Significant, refreshing, well written and appropriate writing. An excellent article which should have been followed (every 2-3 days) with tasteful, non sensationalistic articles... but wasn't as far as I know.
I am very pleased to hear the gentleman is rescued but do not see any prognosis (?) Hope to hear something short on the outcome.

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2 replies
FRED hotelsierraone June 19 2014 at 11:00 AM

Chances are we won't hear anything about him, that is how the news is.

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roseyoungstewart hotelsierraone June 19 2014 at 11:42 PM

Read Al-Jazeera Europe or London Daily Telegraph now Dont wait ... london is 5-6 hours ahead of us remember?

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mtnpagan June 19 2014 at 10:29 AM

That is wonderful. I've been imagining what it would like to die underground never seeing the light of day again. I am so happy for him and amazed at the strength of the men who got him out. I wonder what was going through his head when he knew he was finally out.

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bigred8690 June 19 2014 at 10:58 AM

Just another reminder that the people who keep civilization going aren't the eggheads who work in universities and think-tanks. Thank a first-responder or a soldier for what they do to keep us safe.

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1 reply
franklinjefferson bigred8690 June 19 2014 at 1:09 PM

It takes ALL kinds to keep civilization going. These first-responders and soldiers wouldn't have vehicles to respond in and weapons to fire or planes & helicopters if it wasn't for eggheads. Nor would either one of us get to spout our opinions on this internet thingy if it wasn't for eggheads.

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ohiostgal June 19 2014 at 11:18 AM

Thank you folks who put yourselves in danger to rescue Mr.Westhauser. I can't imagine being underground for two weeks. I hope he recooperates quickly.

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2 replies
marysanmarino ohiostgal June 19 2014 at 11:37 AM

Yes, ohiostgal, we are much indebted to the sacrificing folks who rescued this researcher in a wrenching situation. In the story, I could not find how he was able to survive for two weeks ( food, water, sanitation ). As a young woman in the 50's, my friends and I and then-husband loved exploring Texas caves. Since I weighed less, they would hold my hands so I could go down the sink hole and call back if it was safe. Absolutely gorgeous under there! But do not try it without help you can count on!

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3 replies
roseyoungstewart ohiostgal June 19 2014 at 11:40 PM

yeh maybe thye read english... i dont know.

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toneitup June 19 2014 at 12:57 PM

Cave Digging...wow how interesting

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1 reply
roseyoungstewart toneitup June 19 2014 at 11:53 PM

cave DIGGING? oh?

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mdcaver June 19 2014 at 1:17 PM

I'm a 50+ year member of the National Speleological Society (NSS) and have done a lot of caving - mostly in West Virgina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and a few in Arizona and Texas. Unfortunately, age has caught up with me and those days are now behind me. I doubt that most people can truly grasp the magnitude of these type of vertical cave, or begin to imagine the incredible difficulty of rescuing someone from its depths. Even as an experienced caver, it boggles my mind. In reality, it is no small miracle that this man was rescued from what very easily could have been a life-ending injury. The well-trained rescue teams deserve immense credit for their efforts.

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1 reply
roseyoungstewart mdcaver June 19 2014 at 11:54 PM

the first 600 feet was vertical the rest was ALL horizontal see the diagram on todays london daily telegraph.

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JUST A DUDE June 19 2014 at 2:03 PM

Whether mountain tops, hiking in hostile nations/territory or spelunking only the real nuts seek that form of excitement

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roseyoungstewart JUST A DUDE June 19 2014 at 11:46 PM

Speaking of nuts here is a joke: a minister visited an elderly woman in a nursing home. When he got to her room she was sound asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he sat there and ate a bowl of peanuts. Good thing, because he was so hungry he ate the entire bowlful. Soon the elderly lady woke up . The minister said "oh i havent been waiting too long but i did eat all your peanuts in this bowl. " She said to him," oh, thats ok because i sucked all the chocolate off them yesterday".

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ANTON June 19 2014 at 2:12 PM

Glad to hear he is safe and out of the cave, God only knows what kind they will find in these caves. The Alps are older than humans, this cave is massive, maybe early human tribes or tribes of Neanderthals lives in these caves. They can tell us so much about our own past, would love to see what they find down there...

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1 reply
roseyoungstewart ANTON June 19 2014 at 11:55 PM

the country Bavaria is closing it up for good. read other sources of info (overseas).

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