Derbyshire volunteers help to free injured man trapped in cave in Brecon Beacons for two days

Derbyshire volunteers have helped to rescue an injured man from a cave in Wales.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 9:55 am

The man, who is said to be doing ‘remarkably well’, was brought out of Ogof Ffynnon Ddu in the Brecon Beacons at around 7.45pm on Monday.

He was clapped and cheered by rescuers as he was lifted to the surface.

Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation (DCRO) was one of the teams involved in the major operation.

The Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation helped to free an injured man trapped in Ogof Ffynnon Ddu in the Brecon Beacons. This picture was posted by the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team on Facebook.

A spokesperson for DCRO said: “We are pleased that some of our team members were able to assist in his rescue.

“Skilled volunteer cavers coming together from all over the country to help one of their own is a great testament to the caving community.

“We wish the casualty a speedy recovery.”

What injuries did the man suffer?

The man, who is in his 40s, was helped into a cave rescue Land Rover before being taken to Morriston Hospital in Swansea in an ambulance that was waiting at the scene.

His injuries are believed to include a broken jaw, leg, and spinal injuries – but thankfully they are not said to be life-threatening.

Gary Evans, the emergency services liaison officer, told reporters: “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.”

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.”

How was the man saved from the cave?

The operation to free him involved more than 240 people and at least eight cave rescue teams from around the UK.

Teams of rescuers had been working in shifts to bring him to safety.

It was said to be a difficult rescue because teams had to navigate through a complex cave system with rivers, climbs and small tunnels.

He was finally lifted to the surface after the two-day ordeal on a stretcher.

However, he could not be airlifted to hospital by helicopter because of the weather conditions.

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.”

How did the man become stuck?

The man, who has been described as an experienced caver, had been trapped since around 1pm on Saturday after suffering a fall.

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

His injuries left him unable to climb out of the cave on his own.

Peter Francis, another spokesperson from the team, said the rescue is the longest in South Wales’ caving history.

The 74-year-old 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.”

Where are the caves?

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 cave in the UK stretching more than 30 miles.