Cave Rescue Expert Rescued From Cave

Josh Bratchley helped save Thai boys last year
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2019 8:20 AM CDT
Diver Rescued From Cave Was Part of Famed Rescue
A rescuer makes his way down the entrance to a cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand Wednesday, July 4, 2018.   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Josh Bratchley, a member of the team of divers that helped save 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand last year, is very good at rescuing people from caves. Luckily for him, he is also very good at being rescued from caves. Bratchley was rescued from a flooded cave in Jackson County, Tenn., Wednesday evening after being reported missing by a group of fellow divers. Veteran cave diver Edd Sorenson found the British diver, and he says the fact that Bratchley is a "consummate professional" who remained calm made the task a lot easier. "Most of the time on rescues, when I get there, they're hysterical, they're panicked, and that makes it very dangerous for me," Sorenson tells NBC. A rescue that would normally have taken hours was over in just 45 minutes, officials say.

Bratchley had been mapping the Mill Pond cave system with four other divers. After he failed to emerge with the others Tuesday, they spent hours searching for him before calling 911, the Guardian reports. It's not clear exactly how Bratchley became lost, though Sorenson says the group was laying new line in the cave and Bratchley's may have broken, CBS reports. Sorenson says it "was a really small, nasty cave" and he was surprised to find a very calm Bratchley alive, CNN reports. Authorities say Bratchley's time in the cave the day before getting lost was likely key, as he knew the location of life-sustaining air pockets. After emerging from the cave after his 28-hour ordeal, Bratchley declined medical care—but asked for pizza.

(More caves stories.)

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