Saving a fellow diver

On+Wednesday+morning+a+British+diver+was+rescued+from+a+caving+accident.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Saving a fellow diver

On Wednesday morning a British diver was rescued from a caving accident.

On Wednesday morning a British diver was rescued from a caving accident.

Caleb Miller

On Wednesday morning a British diver was rescued from a caving accident.

Caleb Miller

Caleb Miller

On Wednesday morning a British diver was rescued from a caving accident.

Caleb Miller, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


The diver who helped save the Thai soccer team over the summer was recently saved himself from an underwater cave in Tennessee.

While it had only been explored two times before, Josh Bratchley along with four other divers ventured into Mills Pond Cave in Flynn’s Tick, Tennessee this Tuesday. During the excursion, Bratchley fell into an air pocket along the short 400-foot trail that spanned the entire cave. He was first found to be missing when the group emerged around 3 p.m. and noticed that not everyone had come back.

After several failed attempts to rescue him themselves, the divers called 911 around 1 am on Wednesday to report the matter and waited for help to arrive. On the other end, Edd Sorenson, a professional diver from Florida was woken at 2:30 am by authorities and flown out to Tennessee to help with the case.

Sorenson spent many hours looking from Bratchley saying that while he could have easily found the spot where Bratchley had fallen, he wanted to first search other nooks and crannies of the cave for a body. Finally, after over a day of being stranded Sorenson emerged with Bratchley once again at 7 pm on Wednesday. Bratchley was safe, oriented and in healthy condition.

“His only request was for some pizza,” said spokesperson Derek Woolbright during a press conference.

Sorenson said that when he eventually found Bratchley he was perfectly calm and undoubtedly pleased to see him. Bratchley had attempted getting out himself but after failing repeatedly decided to conserve the rest of the air he had for a potential rescue and despite the odds of survival in the 55-degree water, he was able to maintain calm and wait patiently for any outside help.

“[When I got there] he said ‘Thank you, thank you. Who are you?’ ” Sorenson said. “We had a nice talk.”

Bratchley was recognized in July for saving a team of 12 boys on a soccer team and their coach from a cave in Thailand. The team was trapped for nine days in complete and utter darkness before being rescued in an operation that was followed around the world. Bratchley’s life otherwise involves being an operational meteorologist at UK Company Met Office and training with a UK Cave Diving Group which gave him the experience he needed during his rescue operation over the summer.

Likewise, Sorenson is a technical cave diver who has been recognized for his work in rescuing individuals from places like his home state of Florida, to the Dominican Republic. However, in the 22 years of rescues and recoveries that he has been a part of, not once has Sorenson asked for payment. He says that he is encouraged by rescues as they are rare. Much more often he is called to recover bodies.

“Putting people in body bags all the time is no fun,” he told the New York Times. “And when you get to send one home, it’s an exceptional feeling.”