Sunny Corner Trail Bike Ride's mine shaft rescue

LUCKY ESCAPE: Lachlan Smith, 24, had a lucky escape after he accidentally rode his motorbike into a 12-metre deep mine shaft at Sunny Corner. Photos: CHRIS RYAN 092116bike11

LUCKY ESCAPE: Lachlan Smith, 24, had a lucky escape after he accidentally rode his motorbike into a 12-metre deep mine shaft at Sunny Corner. Photos: CHRIS RYAN 092116bike11

SAFETY standards are adequate at the Sunny Corner Trail Bike Ride, despite a rider falling into a 12-metre-deep mine shaft.

HELP: Mine shaft rescue.

HELP: Mine shaft rescue.

The annual event attracts participants from across the state, and a record 1400 riders took part on the weekend.

During the two 70 kilometre loops that riders take through Sunny Corner State Forest, 24-year-old Sydney man Lachlan Smith veered off course and tumbled down the mine shaft along with his bike just before 10am on Saturday.

Central Tablelands Motorcycle Club runs the event, and president Paul Seymour said the safety of all riders is vital to the organising committee.

In the ride’s 30 year history he said an incident of this type had never occurred before.

“He [the rider] veered off the marked track a bit so that’s why he went down,” Mr Seymour said.

Mr Seymour said all riders receive a safety briefing prior to the two-day event and are instructed to follow the course’s directional markers.

“It’s marked very well throughout the forest, there’s check points and everyone [each rider] is electronically logged in and out,” he said.

Mr Seymour said the event committee has since met to discuss the incident and has concluded that current safety provisions are adequate.

Ambulance Service of NSW Inspector Rhys Dive said Mr Smith was extremely lucky not to have been seriously injured or killed.

A paramedic was winched into the shaft to assess Mr Smith before the pair were lifted out by rescuers.

“Our worst fear was the bike had pinned him underneath,” he said.

“He had a helmet and gloves and all the protective gear and that’s saved him from a lot of injuries.”

Mr Smith injured his wrist and hip and after a medical assessment was not transported to hospital.

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