Injured man rescued from Brecon Beacons cave after two days retained in…

There were cheers and applause on Monday night as a man was rescued alive from a cave in the Brecon Beacons after spending more than two days retained inside.

The man, in his 40s, was brought out of Ogof Ffynnon Ddu at around 7.45pm on Monday following a 54-hour ordeal.

After being lifted to the surface, the man was helped into a Land Rover ready to be transported down to a waiting ambulance as rescuers cheered him on.

Gary Evans, the emergency sets 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 after the success of the operation, Mr Evans additional: “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.”

Described as an experienced caver who was unlucky, he had been retained since Saturday at around 1pm after experiencing 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 300 volunteers from ten cave rescue teams from around the UK were involved in the operation, some of whom were involved in the Thai cave rescue in 2018.

Rescuers carried stretcher for hours at a time in precipitous conditions

(SMWCRT)

Peter Francis, a SMWCRT spokesperson, said the rescue was the longest in south Wales caving history.

“This is the longest rescue we’ve ever done,” he said. “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.”

Rescue teams had to continue gloomy weather conditions above ground, with thick fog and drizzle meaning an air ambulance was unable to land.

Groups were dispatched from the nearby South Wales Caving Club headquarters, where waiting rescuers were supplied with hot drinks and food.

Around 30 rescuers at a time would head out from the caving club up the mountain to relieve their colleauges from their work underground. Some were in the cave for 12 hours at a time.

Ogof Ffynnon Ddu – meaning “Cave of the Black Spring” – was discovered in 1946 and is 300m thorough at its lowest point. The underground caverns stretch over 30 miles, making it Britain’s third longest cave.

Only experienced cavers are granted permission to analyze inside.

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