An injured caver rescued in a 54-hour mission in Wales has been named as George Linnane. The 38-year-old from Bristol is said to be the man who came into difficulty in Ogof Ffynnon Ddu in the Brecon Beacons.
Around 300 volunteers came to Linnane’s aid, working in shifts to bring the injured man out of the UK’s deepest cave on a stretcher.
Rescuers told The Independent how they had to navigate waterfalls, narrow rifts and deep water as they carried the caver to the surface.
According to media reports, the rescued man’s mother, Sally Linnane-Hemmens created a fundraiser for the South & Mid-Wales Cave Rescue Team (SMWCRT) – which co-ordinated the mission – and urged people to donate after the rescue of her son.
“These guys, along with several other cave rescue teams from across the UK, saved my son’s life,” she reportedly posted. “He had been trapped underground for 50 hours-plus and is badly injured.”
The rescued caver’s injuries are said to be non-life threatening, but are believed to include a broken jaw, leg, and spinal injuries.
Mr Linnane describes himself on social media as a scuba diver, engineer, snowboarder, DJ and caver.
One of his friends said he was “hard as nails”, according to The Times. “Throughout the rescue George was very stoic; that’s the kind of person he is,” the newspaper reported the friend as saying.
“He’s got a huge amount of experience in cave exploration and has qualified as an underground diver as well.”
Peter Francis from SMWCRT described Linnane as an “experienced” caver who was “very unlucky”.
“It was a matter of putting his foot in the wrong place,” he said. “He wasn’t in a dangerous part of the cave, it’s just something moved from under him.”
The man had been trapped since Saturday at around 1pm after suffering a fall in the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu cave system, which is also the third-longest in the UK as well as the deepest.
He was brought to the surface at around 7.45pm on Monday following a 54-hour ordeal.
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