Contractors rescued at Climax Mine |

Contractors rescued at Climax Mine


As the rest of the county focused on what was happening at the polls Tuesday, members of the Summit County Rescue Group were busy extricating two stranded individuals at Climax Mine’s Robinson Lake.

Several operators from Habitat Construction were in the process of removing sediment from the bottom of the lake when the lake-bed material began to shift under them, said Jim Koegel, spokesman for the Summit County Rescue Group.

Evacuation of personnel and equipment began immediately, and all but the operators of an excavator and a 40-ton haul truck were able to retreat. They were, however, able to locate a high point on the lake-bed and climb onto the hood of a haul truck that had become partially submerged in the mud.

When the 27 members of the Summit County Rescue Group arrived on scene at 1:30 p.m., they set up a tensioned guiding line system between two fixed points. It suspended a carriage pulley that allowed rescuers to reach the stranded workers.

Koegel said the system was set up using a rope gun that shot a lightweight line to the individuals on the lake-bed. The workers pulled the rope in and, with guidance, fixed the rope to excavation equipment that protruded from the mud. Rescuers then traversed the rope using full-body harnesses to pull the operators to safety, one at a time.

The rescue finished at 9 p.m., Koegel said, adding that the cause of the material’s movement is still under investigation.

SDN reporter Janice Kurbjun can be contacted at (970) 668-4630 or at

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