LONDON (AP) — Bolstered by treats tucked in their helmets, some 240 rescuers worked in shifts for more than two days to help extricate a cave explorer who lost his footing and tumbled into one of Britain’s deepest hollows.
Forming a human chain, rescuers from at least eight teams across the U.K. brought up the 40-year-old man on a stretcher Monday to the entrance of Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, also known as the Cave of the Black Spring, 54 hours after he fell.
“The caver was very unlucky here. He’s an experienced caver, a fit caver. And it was a matter of putting his foot in the wrong place,” said Peter Francis, the spokesman for the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team. “He wasn’t in a dangerous part of the cave, it’s just something moved from under him.”
Emergency services liaison officer Gary Evans said the man was doing “remarkably well” on Tuesday. His injuries, which include a broken jaw, leg and spinal injuries, have been described as not life-threatening.
The cave system is located in the Brecon Beacons mountain range in south Wales near the former quarrying village of Penwyllt. It is 300 meters (984 feet) deep, making it among the deepest in the U.K. The cave system is also among the U.K.’s longest, stretching for more than 30 miles (48 kilometers).