On Sunday, August 27, two young cavers were exploring in Ludington's Cave in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. These were James Patton and his cousin, Kevin Patton. When they headed for the entrance, they came to the 40 foot climb about 800 feet from the entrance. James was able to ascend the rope with Jumars. when Kevin tried he reportedly injured a knee and was unable to continue. James exited the cave and called the Sheriff's Office which in turn called out cavers.
Cavers arrived at the cave in the afternoon; a crew entered and rigged a second rope with a rescuer ascending alongside Kevin, to encourage him, to no avail. A second crew entered and set up a mechanical advantage haul system: a rope attached at the top of the drop, then through a pulley attached to Kevin's harness, then through a pulley at the top of the drop. With a belay and safety Jumar, the victim was hauled up. Once up, Kevin Patton "practically ran" for the entrance. Rescuers speculated that when the single set of Jumars was dropped down the rope from James to Kevin, one Jumar struck him in the knee, resulting in the call-out.
NSS News, December 1990 (Part 2) V48N12, Page 344.
Patty Daw "Here we go again -- The Ludington's Cave Rescue" The West Virginia Caver 7(5) Oct. 1989, p 5.
No analysis has been done.