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Rescue from Copperhead Cave

Buffalo National River (Arkansas) - On the afternoon of April 23rd, rangers were contacted by the Newton County Sheriff’s Department and advised that they’d received a report of an injured woman in Copperhead Cave, located near Camp Orr, a Boy Scout in-holding along the Buffalo River.

Seven rangers, local first responders, an ambulance, a medevac helicopter, and the Harrison City Fire Department rescue unit responded. Ranger Lee Brumbaugh rappelled into the cave and determined that the victim, 27-year old Angela Anders of Little Rock, Arkansas, had possible back injuries due to falling approximately 20 feet inside the cave.

A Z-rig raising system was established and she was hoisted out through the two-foot by three-foot cave opening. Anders was then taken to Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where doctors determined that she had a compressed fracture of a lumbar vertebra. A caving companion, Heather Hinshel, was transported to North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison, Arkansas, by ground ambulance. She was treated for a minor leg injury and released.

[Submitted by Bob Maguire, Chief Ranger]

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