The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
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 vol. 41. iss. 2, June 2006
disappearing underwater.

The Rescue
    There was no time to think now.  I was in the water immediately and I was immediately in the dark; my headlamp went out. Another group member started getting in the water and I barked at him to stay were he was. I’m not sure if it was adrenaline, my experience as a lifeguard or cold water SCUBA diving up north, but I got to Darshan about 5 times faster than he got there.  He had gasped for breath a few more times, and made his way to the wall.  You could hear his fingernails scratching the stone, but it was too smooth.  I was alternately plunged into darkness or light depending upon whether he was gasping for air, or underwater.  He was under water when I got to him, and had been for no short span of time.  I pulled him up to the surface and he immediately put his hands on my shoulders and pushed down.  A note to those not familiar, this is what all drowning people do.  You must let them push you down, use your arms to propel yourself down in fact, and swim out surfacing a few feet away. Most victims figure things out, or get too weak to do it again, but Darshan kept it up, and I couldn’t get him in a rescuer’s hold and swim him back.
Luckily my arms are longer than his and I was able to grab him by the shoulders and throw him toward the far shore, which was only 20 feet distant, propelling
myself in the other direction.  I swam back, and threw him again (rinse and repeat to the shore).  When I threw him to land I immediately noticed another problem; the shore was a mud slope and so steep that he could only use it to keep his head out of the water.  I was able to check his breathing and his pulse and was grateful that there was no need for CPR.  The shoreline dictated that there was only one thing that I could do, so I tied a bowline under his arms, climbed the 70° bank and dragged him up. 

Darshan couldn’t stand up and could barely talk.   Once in a stable position on top, I did a more thorough check of his condition.  Darshan’s skin was a pale color (he is Indian and usually very dark skinned), he was unable to shiver, his pupils were permanently dilated, he was unable to speak without slurring his words or express complete thoughts.  He had almost no motor control (fine or major), but he was able to recall his personal information (i.e. how many languages he spoke, his name, birth date, where he was).  Darshan was seriously hypothermic.
I kept talking to Darshan to keep him awake, hoping that his condition would improve and knowing that there could be fatal consequences if he lost consciousness.  He was drifting in and out at this point and it took some harsh words and two body-shaking slaps to bring him back. I made him promise to have some food and water, which was in my bag. I then shouted directions to the others, “Conserve body heat, use only one light and only when you have to, keep Darshan awake, and stay where you are.”  Luckily the acoustics in Echo Junction permitted them to speak with Darshan and they were able to see each other’s lights.  I switched headlamps with Darshan, giving him my backup and taking the Duo. I coiled the rope around me and was off.
If you know the area there is one way out when the water is this high.  Darshan was stranded between two lakes and I HAD to swim again, alone, to get out.  I
slipped into the next lake and swam for my life, and Darshan’s, swearing that I would never get in this water again (I swam that lake 4 more times that day).  I used my knife to claw up one of the walls and save myself half of the swim.  I was running across a field to the cars in 15 minutes, a record I’m sure, and not a safe trip when moving that fast, much less alone. 
I alerted Jason and our friend Tom, and ran up to the landowner’s house.  We briefly debated calling for help or not, but being unable to find any sort of


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