British diver who helped rescue Thai cave boys gets trapped in cave
A British diver who helped save a junior football team from a cave in Thailand has himself been rescued from a flooded tunnel in the US after more than a day underground.
Josh Bratchley failed to return to the surface with the rest of a party after they emerged from a cave in Jackson County, Tennessee, at around 3pm on Tuesday.
After several attempts to find him themselves, his fellow divers alerted emergency services at around 1am local time (7am BST) on Wednesday morning.
'We don't know how it worked': the inside story of the Thai cave rescue
Expert divers were flown in from Arkansas and Florida and a rescue dive began at around 6pm on Wednesday evening. Authorities said he was successfully rescued around an hour later.
"He was awake, alert and oriented," rescue official Derek Woolbright told a press conference. "His only request when he got to the surface was that he wanted some pizza."
Bratchley was evaluated by medical crews on scene and found to be stable. He refused medical treatment and transport.
The diver was praised for his composure by lieutenant Brian Krebs, from Chattanooga Hamilton County Rescue Services.
"He really did this for himself. Most of what happened here today was Josh, his mental state is excellent, he's in good health, he's fine."
Rescue diver Edd Sorenson added: "I could've got to him sooner, but I was looking at every nook and cranny looking for a body.
"There were broken lines and it was a very silty, dangerous low cave. We came up to the air pocket and shockingly there he was, calm as could be.
"He just said 'thank you, thank you. Who are you?"'
Bratchley was part of a crack team of British cave diving experts who helped save 12 schoolboys and their football coach from a flooded cave in Thailand last year.
A meteorologist by trade, he was later honoured at a reception held by the prime minister at Downing Street and appointed MBE in the 2019 New Year's Honours list.
Bill Whitehouse, vice-chairman of the British Cave Rescue Council, said Bratchley entered Mill Pond Cave on Tuesday to replace a guideline.
SOURCE:Support The Guardian