Murray Richard Baltus helped to rescue Charles Woodbridge from suffocation, Atlin, British Columbia, July 24, 1996. Woodbridge, 47, was overcome by carbon monoxide after he entered the vertical shaft of an abandoned, underground gold mine to aid another man who had been overcome. Woodbridge’s teen-aged son and two of the original victim’s companions maneuvered Woodbridge to a level about 30 feet from the top of the shaft before having to leave for air. Baltus, 27, police constable, who had been called to the scene, entered the shaft with Woodbridge’s son. They descended a series of ladders to Woodbridge then lifted him up to the next level. Working in the dark and wet confines of the shaft, Baltus laboriously lifted and pushed Woodbridge up two more levels toward the surface, from which others removed Woodbridge from the mine. Woodbridge was revived with oxygen at the scene, then was flown to a hospital, where he was detained a day for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning and a fractured rib. Baltus also required medical treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning, and he recovered.
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