Injured man trapped in Welsh cave rescued after 58-hour ordeal

Rescuers say he is doing 'remarkably well' after being taken to hospital on Monday

An injured man trapped in a Welsh cave for over two days is recovering in hospital.

He was brought out of Ogof Ffynnon Ddu in the Brecon Beacons at around 7.45pm on Monday after being stuck there for 58 hours at the weekend.

Rescue teams said the man, who is in his forties, was injured when they found him but is now doing “remarkably well”.

After being lifted to the surface, he was clapped and cheered by rescuers before being helped into a cave rescue Land Rover ready to be transported down to a waiting ambulance.

Gary Evans, the emergency services liaison officer, said: “The casualty is doing remarkably well, if you consider how long he’s been in the cave, how long he’s been in a stretcher — he’s doing very well indeed.

“He’s being assessed at the moment and we’ll know more in a short while.”

Asked how he felt about the success of the operation, Mr Evans added: “We’re absolutely delighted, we’re delighted because it was a difficult rescue and we’re delighted because the casualty has done really well considering what’s happened.”

Gary Mitchell, South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team’s surface controller, said: “To get that news that he’s finally out, he’s on the surface and being well looked after is clearly ecstatic for all of us.”

Described as an experienced caver, the man had been trapped since Saturday at around 1pm after suffering a fall.

His injuries are said to be non-life threatening, but are believed to include a broken jaw, leg, and spinal injuries.

More than 240 people have been involved in the operation, and at least eight cave rescue teams from around the UK.

Teams of rescuers had been working in shifts to bring him to safety but had been unable to airlift him to hospital by helicopter because of the weather.

Peter Francis, a spokesman for the emergency team, said the rescue was the longest in South Wales caving history.

The 74-year-old said: “This is the longest rescue we’ve ever done but we’re very pleased with the progress being made.

“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.

“He wasn’t in a dangerous part of the cave, it’s just something moved from under him.”

Paul Taylor, spokesman for South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team, said the man had gone into the Cwmdoor entrance of the caves before he fell.

The caves located near to Penwyllt are 300 metres deep, making them the deepest in the UK.

Discovered in 1947, they are also the third longest in the UK, stretching more than 30 miles.

Updated: November 9th 2021, 10:48 AM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS