JACKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WHDH) — A British cave diver who helped rescue a Thai soccer team that got stuck in a flooded cave for 18 days last year was rescued from a Tennessee cave after he went missing on Wednesday.
Josh Bratchley and four other experienced divers were exploring a cave in Jackson County when Bratchley’s friends reported to authorities around 1:15 a.m. that Bratchley never returned from the dive.
Edd Sorenson, a rescue diver from Florida, flew to Tennessee after getting an early-morning call about the rescue mission.
Once he reached the cave, it took him less than an hour to get to Bratchley, who had been inside for roughly 24 hours.
“He looked like a snowman but of mud,” Sorenson described. “He was head-to-toe mud. There was maybe a few spots on his cheeks that were not covered in mud and I mean covered.”
Authorities say Bratchley was in a good mental status as he waited to be rescued.
“He was awake, alert and oriented. His only request when he got to the surface was that he wanted some pizza,” said Derek Woolbright, of Jackson County Emergency Management.
Bratchley has been on the other side of a rescue mission before when he helped find 12 boys and their soccer coach inside a flooded cave in Thailand last July.
He was honored with a Member of the Order of the British Empire Award for his role in the rescue.
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