One of the rescuers who extricated an injured man from a cavern deep beneath the Brecon Beacons has argued that sitting on a sofa watching television is more dangerous than caving.
El hombre herido, quien tiene 40 años, is said to be doing well after being rescued from the cave, where he was trapped for more than two days at least 300 metres beneath the surface.
Steve Thomas, de South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team, said on Tuesday morning: “He’s doing well, he’s a strong guy. He’ll be good.”
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Thomas said cavers were very aware of the environment they explored. “It’s not a reckless thing we do," él dijo. “It’s no more dangerous than anything else. I think it’s more dangerous sitting on the sofa watching the TV.”
Thomas said the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu cave system, where the man was trapped was “quite complicated”, agregando: “There’s about 38 miles of known surveyed passages and it’s got a vertical range of just under a kilometre. It’s an extensive cave and you have to be confident to be in there, which everybody was. Accidents happen. A boulder can stay in place for 10,000 years and one day it will move. That’s the way it goes. Para 9,999 years it’s fine.”
Thomas said the rescue had been slow but steady. “When we got to him it was a case of assessing how he was, working out what we’d need, logistics, equipment, where it’s got to come from, who we need, any medical supplies. We have team doctors. Everybody was allocated jobs and then the operation to move him took place, which initially was very, very slow but after about 15 hours he was into a bigger passage so it became easier.
“The caves are natural things, there are not footpaths. It’s a geological wonder but it’s full of boulders, potholes, climbs, waterfalls. Each one has to be negotiated in its own way but we’ve done it many times. We’ve rehearsed this. There was nothing that surprised us.”
Thomas said the banter kept the rescue teams going – and treats that they stored in their helmets. He said at one point he was surrounded by Yorkshire, Somerset and Irish accents. “It’s a friendly environment we create. Nobody complained about anything they had to do. A lot of it involved lying in water with a stretcher being pulled over you. Nobody said no, we’re all part of the same team.”
The man was brought out of the cave to cheers and clapping at about 7.45pm on Monday. He was taken into a cave rescue Land Rover and transferred to an ambulance.
Described as an experienced caver, the man became trapped on Saturday at around 1pm after a fall. His injuries are non-life threatening, but are believed to include a broken jaw, leg and spinal injuries.
Por poco 250 volunteer cave rescuers helped, including some who were involved in the 2018 rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from flooded caves in northern Thailand, 17 days after they got trapped underground.