POWELL (WATE) – The Anderson County Volunteer Rescue Squad and parents warned about the dangers of caves after crews rescued a 16-year-old in Powell. First responders were able to make contact with the teen and in the end, all he had was an ankle injury.
The Anderson County Volunteer Rescue Squad said the teen managed to get a cell phone signal to call for help. He happened to be towards the entrance to the cave when he got hurt.
“I just really want them to realize how dangerous it is,” said Wendy Inman, a mother.
Parents in Powell were on edge after learning crews rescued the boy from a cave behind Springhill Missionary Baptist Church. Inman was terrified to hear the news. She said her nephew and his friends go to this cave often.
“It’s extremely dangerous for for these teenage boys who have no kind of caving experience,” she said.
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She grew up on this street. The cave is just down the way from her home. She said teenagers go there all the time in the summer.
“It scares me. It terrifies me,” Inman said.
She said this isn’t the first time someone needed help. Almost 20 years ago, she said a high school freshman slipped and died in this cave.
I don’t want to see anything happen to them. They are good boys. They are good kids. They are just looking for something to do,” said Inman.
“You better have the proper equipment. If not, you can lay in there and die,” said Terry Allen, Chief of the Anderson County Volunteer Rescue Squad.
He said this is his second cave rescue in 10 years. The Anderson County Volunteer Rescue Squad was worried about a storm that was supposed to come later in the day. Chief Allen said that would have flooded the cave. Crews were able to get the teen out before the rain came but he said this situation could have been a lot worse.
“This could have been a recovery,” said Allen.
This cave is on private property. The landowner said she has looked into putting a fence or a gate up. However, she said there is a liability statute that makes this difficult. She said if she were to put something up and someone got hurt, she would be liable.