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I wonder what kind of carabiniere he was using that would break durning mid-descent?  Having to kill three rattlers and messing up an artificial knee sound like more than enough adventures to pack into just another day in the desert.  But what about the gold?  Did he find any???

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 A cheap one, no doubt!  Why would any one go in a mineshaft alone??? At least he told his friend where and when to go looking...

Can you say STUPID?

fred

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:confused0089[1]: Abandoned mines are not joke, your more likely to find danger than gold.

IMG_3561.JPG

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10 hours ago, Micro Nugget said:

I wonder what kind of carabiniere he was using that would break durning mid-descent?  

Unfortunately there are a lot of look alike caribiners out there for sale. If you read the fine print stamped into most of them they are not for climbing. The real ones are usually stainless steel and have a twist nut lock on them not just a swinging gate. Pay $15 each or $1.59 each ... pay me now or pay me later! (Remember the old STP advertisement!)

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I dont think its that stupid. Hes an outdoorsman, that had been prospecting his property,  and likely for a while. Hes probably even been down the shaft before. I dont think stupid is a good characterization of the fellow when he was smart enough to let a friend know when to get concerned. That decision likely saved his life.

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The term "stupid" may be a bit harsh but he certainly had no idea on the protocol for entering a mine. I think it is safe to say he "lacked a richness of knowledge" about what he was doing.

Telling a buddy back in town where you are going is hardly the accepted procedure. There are really good reasons that a fellow follows the basic guidelines for entering a shaft as well as making a climb. It seems like this guy followed none of them. It also seems he had done it repeatedly and had no idea of the limitations of his equipment. Nor did he plan for an extraction if something went wrong. He may not have been stupid but there is pretty good evidence that he was ignorant. 

Lets face it, he did nothing right. He had the presence of mind to tell someone where he was going and that probably saved his life but that is a long way from proper entry procedure for any confined space much less a rappel down a mine shaft.

If he was smart and followed basic procedures the accident would not have happened. And if he was following procedure and it did happen the outcome would have been much different. That is why those entry procedures were established.

Something darn sure went wrong and it was not due to a surplus of knowledge. Lets just put it that way.

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He was an old dude with bad knees rappelling alone down a 100 foot shaft. He had on a pair of square toed cowboy boots in the rescue video. "His carabiner snapped". It was 48 hours between the time he fell and the time he was rescued.

You see the rickety headframe supported by long timbering spanning the badly eroding collar. That thing would not safely support itself much less a man pulling up a bucket of rocks.

The rescue team bypassed the structure to effect and extraction. You see the platform has been removed and the rescue team is rappelling over the collar of the shaft where it is most stable. There is a busted up guy down there and they are doing their best to keep from knocking material down on him.

There is a half ton of jackleg rigging and that much loose rock poised over the hole and this lonesome cowboy with bad knees and a toy carabiner put himself at the bottom of that funnel. Ponder that for a few minutes. 

You gotta wonder what thought processes are at work to get it all to come together like this. A whole parade of bad decisions led up to this event.

 

 

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Check out the photos. This is a 100 foot hole with no tailings around it. IMHO They did not bring rock up through this hole. It is a hoistway/manway to access underground workings. You can tell by the lack of tailings and the condition of the ground around the collar of the shaft. 

The tower is super light duty. It is not made to hoist out rock. This is to support a ladder and a hoist for tools and miner's gear. So this was probably an access shaft to a series of underground tunnels driven at levels off this shaft. This guy was probably accessing a tunnel down there somewhere. 

Just some food for thought. This isn't a mine but a hoistway and if he located gold ore down there it was probably not in the hoistway. 

 

 

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My wife works for Nevada Division of Minerals, and she has told me some very bad stories about people stuck in mine shafts. Whenever they go into a mine they have someone outside and there are always a team of at least two that go in. For one thing no matter how many times you went into some mine, your day may come at any time. One individual who thought a certain mine was fine for exploring found out the hard way about deadly gas. He was showing off this place when only 15 feet or so inside the bad gas took his life. Besides snakes and just falling inside an mine the other story that blows me away is that fact that many times people find dynamite sticks unstable as hell! The stuff is so unstable that when they get a report of dynamite in a mine they detonate it  in place. If you ever see sticks of dynamite please don't touch.:4chsmu1:

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I just say it like I see it, Adam...generally, I give some measure of charity.

I hope they charge the guy for his rescue....money is usually the only cure for....no there is no cure for stupid.

fred

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I had a buddy collapse in a ten foot hole from bad air. A stupid little test hole you could jump down in and almost jump out. There was never a thought there could be bad air because the hole was so small and had been there for so long. We stuck a ladder down there and he climbed down. I was two minutes behind him. When I looked down he was wobbling and going down. 

I know a guy that went down due to a nitrogen environment in a test cell. One that went down welding in a tank filled with Co2. Had another overcome by chlorine fumes in an injector building. As a construction foreman I have put guys in trenches, holes and tunnels in every conceivable situation and I can tell you it is no joke. And that is just one set of several hazards to be considered when entering a confined space. Especially vertically under an existing structure that is unstable.

Confined space hazards kill thousands every year. Mines, manholes, culverts. tanks, tunnels, electrical and plumbing vaults, trenching and pipelining jobs. All share the same basic hazards and the same way of mitigating those hazards.

For professional mining and construction men this is 70% of their job. Laymen generally don't even recognize the hazards much less plan for them. By learning just a little bit about how things are handled in industry a hobbyist would benefit greatly. Just recognizing the hazards and taking the basic safety precautions would make a world of difference.

 

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1 hour ago, hardtimehermit said:

My wife works for Nevada Division of Minerals, and she has told me some very bad stories about people stuck in mine shafts. Whenever they go into a mine they have someone outside and there are always a team of at least two that go in. For one thing no matter how many times you went into some mine, your day may come at any time. One individual who thought a certain mine was fine for exploring found out the hard way about deadly gas. He was showing off this place when only 15 feet or so inside the bad gas took his life. Besides snakes and just falling inside an mine the other story that blows me away is that fact that many times people find dynamite sticks unstable as hell! The stuff is so unstable that when they get a report of dynamite in a mine they detonate it  in place. If you ever see sticks of dynamite please don't touch.:4chsmu1:

Misfires are common. You can find them in just about every mine if you look hard enough. I have found dozens and I am sure others have too. 

So are old lard cans with a few sticks of powder and a handful of caps. Maybe a length of fuse.

One of my old school buddies worked at a placer mine in the Caballo Mts in the 70's. He convinced the Governor's daughter whom he met at the local dance bar to go to the gold mine with him. He took her into the powder shack and they were making love on the explosives. It blew up. He was killed. She was badly injured. It is not clear how they were stacked when the powder went off but she got lucky. It is a piece of New Mexico lore that is way better than any fantasy you could make up.

I found a whole case of electric caps that supported years of mischief. We once found a wad of white primer fuse that would fill a garbage bag. We packed it down in old fire extinguishers for targets. We detonated two big boxes of explosive compound in a quarry one night by setting it on fire and shooting at it with rifles. It rained stones the size of your fist for a good minute.

I found a lard can with 15 sticks in a waste rock pile with a detector. Dug it up with my pick and put a hole right through the middle of it. It was like cottage cheese in there when I pulled off the lid. We built a mesquite fire and gently set the can in the middle. It created so much pressure burning that the grass and trees laid down around it and it blew the gravel clean in a 20 foot circle. It took about 15-20 seconds to burn. 

There is a four foot diameter piece of CMP buried just outside of Deming that served as a powder magazine back in the 70's. There are still several cases of old Kinnepack pouches in there and a big box of electric caps. There are guys poking around that mine every weekend since the mid-80's and so far no one has taken it out. A couple years ago I peeked in there and there is a rats nest almost obscuring the explosives. But they are still in there. They have been since at last 1985 or so.

Explosives are a lot easier to find around here than gold that is for sure.

 

 

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Well, all said and done and the miner now finally safe and out of the hole I will risk lightening the conversation up a bit by quipping that I'm sure that the guy who coined the mantra, "Be sure to fill your dig holes," didn't quite have this bizarre scenario in mind.

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Entering shafts, especially ones marked on a map is quite common.  If you've hiked your way up to the area, there's a certain pull that wants you to go in.  My last time I went detecting by the tailings piles at some shafts, I saw some rigging that some people used to enter a 45° shaft.  A rotted 2 X 6 with a piece of Wal Mart rope going down into a hole.  I'm actually surprised these mining accidents do not happen more often. The person that entered this shaft did leave a sample of green copper ore for me to look at.

I totally agree with some protocol to enter those mines, and this guy showed an example of a protocol that could be improved quite a bit.

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3 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

I had a buddy collapse in a ten foot hole from bad air. A stupid little test hole you could jump down in and almost jump out. There was never a thought there could be bad air because the hole was so small and had been there for so long. We stuck a ladder down there and he climbed down. I was two minutes behind him. When I looked down he was wobbling and going down. 

I know a guy that went down due to a nitrogen environment in a test cell. One that went down welding in a tank filled with Co2. Had another overcome by chlorine fumes in an injector building. As a construction foreman I have put guys in trenches, holes and tunnels in every conceivable situation and I can tell you it is no joke. And that is just one set of several hazards to be considered when entering a confined space. Especially vertically under an existing structure that is unstable.

Confined space hazards kill thousands every year. Mines, manholes, culverts. tanks, tunnels, electrical and plumbing vaults, trenching and pipelining jobs. All share the same basic hazards and the same way of mitigating those hazards.

For professional mining and construction men this is 70% of their job. Laymen generally don't even recognize the hazards much less plan for them. By learning just a little bit about how things are handled in industry a hobbyist would benefit greatly. Just recognizing the hazards and taking the basic safety precautions would make a world of difference.

 

I'll add to that list of gas hazards. This year in one of our restaurants at work the draft beer quit pouring correctly. I went into the walkin to check the kegs and immediately could tell something was badly wrong and quickly exited. I looked at the CO2 tank and the regulator was frozen up. Some jackals untapped a keg and left the handle open which dumped an entire tall bottle of CO2 into the sealed walking cooler. I could have died in there!!!

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52 minutes ago, Alwaysdirty said:

I'll add to that list of gas hazards. This year in one of our restaurants at work the draft beer quit pouring correctly. I went into the walkin to check the kegs and immediately could tell something was badly wrong and quickly exited. I looked at the CO2 tank and the regulator was frozen up. Some jackals untapped a keg and left the handle open which dumped an entire tall bottle of CO2 into the sealed walking cooler. I could have died in there!!!

Awesome example! One of those situations where danger is invisible and really difficult to assess. Lots of guys are screwed before they figure it out. At least with Co2 you know you need air. With other gasses you have no clue until you get weak and you get weak fast.

Five men died in 2002 at a research facility in Pasadena. A storage room had a low oxygen environment where an inert pressurized gas had replaced the atmosphere. A researcher opened the door and collapsed in the middle of the floor. His partner walked by, saw him laying there and stepped inside to help. He collapsed. Another person came by. And another. And another. 

Five went down before number six realized the air was bad. The door was standing wide open to the little room and a pile of guys on the floor. Instead of stepping inside he hit the panic button and called for help.

There were several Nitrogen bottles in a cart manifolded together. Hundreds of cubic feet of gas. They were stored in there after an experiment months prior and the door was closed. The main valve was closed but the bottle valves had been left open. There was a small leak in the manifold and it filled the room with nitrogen. It was the perfect trap. 

 

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