Diver survives 60 hours trapped in underwater cave
Thursday, April 20, 2017, 3:59 PM - A cave diver on the Spanish island of Mallorca was rescued this week, after being trapped for 60 hours in an air pocket.
Xisco Gracia, 54, was exploring the cave with a companion Saturday when he ran out of air, forcing his companion to leave him to fetch help.
However, very poor visibility in the water caused a long delay in help finally reaching the trapped man, who was finally rescued Tuesday.
"After so long breathing air so full of CO2 I sometimes saw some things, like lights or bubbles, and I thought they came to rescue me, and when they did not arrive, I was discouraged," he told Diario de Mallorca on Wednesday.
The BBC reports the air bubble in which Gracia was trapped was 40 metres underground, and almost a kilometre from the cave entrance. Though not carrying any food with him at the time, he survived on a thin stream of fresh water in the bubble.
Emergency services told the BBC Gracia and his companion did the right thing in deciding for one of them to go for help, rather than sharing scarce air and risking both their lives.
Gracia was hospitalized overnight, but was released soonafter. He told Diario de Mallorca the experience didn't sour him on cave diving, and he intended to return to the site in future.
"Knowing the Mallorca underground is an important job," Gracia, who is an experienced speleologist, told the newspaper. "Life goes on and we have to move on."