Swiss Caver Rescued After Days Trapped Beyond Sump
A Swiss caver was rescued on Friday evening after being trapped underground for two days.
The man, identified as Roland Geiser, was on a solo caving trip in Grotte de la Cascade near Motiers in western Switzerland when the water suddenly rose over three meters, trapping him about 200 meters (656 feet) from the entrance.
A dozen rescuers from Spéléo-Secours Suisse were brought in, including three cave divers from Lausanne who managed to reach the trapped man on Thursday. They brought him food and suitable clothing to wait out the ordeal.
With a strong current, and extremely low visibility in the sump, the idea of getting the inexperienced man to try to swim underwater to freedom was initially out of the question. However, with increased rains on Thursday, the wait was becoming long and the decision was made for two divers to assist the untrained diver out of the cave on Friday evening.
With their help, the man-made it safely out of the cave around 9:00pm.
Although it is not known to have completely flooded before, the increase in water levels in Grotte de la Cascade is common in the spring due to the run off from melting snow.
Grotte de la Cascade [Spéléo-Secours Suisse], Caver trapped underground in Neuchâtel [World Radio Switzerland], Le spéléologue de Môtiers: “J’ai vraiment eu la peur de ma vie” [RTS.ch] & Swiss caver rescued after days in water-filled cavern [Global Post]