Josh Bratchley, one of the rescue divers who helped rescue a Thailand Soccer team from a cave last year, had to be rescued himself.
Apparently he was part of a small group of cave divers from the UK that were exploring a cave in Jackson County, Tennessee. The group was exploring and laying lines in the area of Mill Pond cave at Flynn’s Lick, Gainsboro.
The following video is a news clip of the coverage that was aired during the event.
It is said that they group of divers returned from a dive at about 3pm Tuesday and realized that Bratchley was not to be found. They then unsuccessfully attempted to launch another dive to find Bratchley before having to call 911 at about 1am.
A rescue diver, Ed Sorenson, was flown in from Florida and was able to successfully find Josh alive in the cave. Ed explained that he traveled thorough spots that were slightly larger than his head in zero visibility to find Josh less than 500 ft. from the surface
Sorenson credits Josh’s survival to his, Josh’s, professional professionalism and calm state of mind. Having tried to make a few self-rescues and realizing that he wouldn’t have enough air, Josh decided to wait for help to arrive. Fortunately, Josh was able to find a large air pocket in the cave to await his rescue.
Ed Sorenson, a diver from Florida, found Bratchley. He explained the rescue during a press conference.
It’s sill unclear how Bratchley got lost, but Sorenson said the group had been laying new line in the cave. He believed Bratchley lost his line or a line was broken in that process.
“They were replacing that [line] so when I got in just a short distance maybe 150 feet there was just line floating everywhere.” Josh likely tried to make some “self rescues” looking for the line, but realized he wouldn’t have enough air to make it out after multiple attempts; so he decided to wait for help.
He said Bratchley found a large air pocket to stay in. Sorenson described it as “remarkably big.”
“I could’ve gotten to him sooner, but I was looking at every nook and cranny looking for a body…I popped up off the surface and he was right in front of me. He said ‘Thank you. Thank you. Who are you.'”