On October 27, three cavers were on a trip to Organ Cave, West Virginia as part of a dye tracing project. After much arduous caving, they were on the way out. As they neared the commercial trail, Russ Rhoads (38) stepped up on a medium sized piece of breakdown and at that moment suffered a ruptured achilles tendon. This caused him to collapse, falling backward to the ground. With some assistance he made it out of the cave. The ruptured tendon required an operation, physical therapy, and several month's convalescence.
NSS News, May 1981 (Part 2) V39N5, Page A75.
R. Healey "Accident" D.C. Speleograph November 1979 p.15.
R. Rhoades Personal Communication February 26, 1980.
The weak tendon was judged to be an inherited trait. Rhoads believes it was aggravated by extensive runing in poor running shoes in the preceeding months. It was therefore only coincidental that the injury occurred in a cave.