Huge mission to rescue man trapped in Brecon Beacons cave for two days

A huge operation has been launched to rescue an injured man who has been trapped for two days in one of the UK’s longest caves at least 300 metres from the entrance. 

Some of the 242 rescuers attempting to free the man, who is believed to have injured his back, were involved in the 2018 rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from flooded caves in northern Thailand, 17 days after they got trapped underground.

The injured man fell while exploring the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu cave system in the Brecon Beacons in south Wales, near the hamlet of Penwyllt, and could not get himself out.

Another caver notified police, who called the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team (SMWCRT), but they have not been able to free the man. About eight rescue teams have travelled from across England to join the effort.

The teams have been working to secure a safe route out of the cave along which the injured man will be evacuated on a stretcher. Among the rescuers are doctors who are able to treat the man.

It is understood at least one section of the proposed route out is a 30-metre drop, up which the man must be lifted by rope.

On Monday, teams of rescuers were seen coming off the mountain in low cloud and light rain at the end of their shifts, tired and grimy, as a fresh unit of at least 30 started the 1km trek up to the cave entrance from the South Wales Caving Club (SWCC) to take over.

Rescuers are using a system called Cavelink to communicate within the caves, which allows teams on the surface to transmit text messages through the rock, without cable, to a receiver underground.