Trapped diver rescued from Tennessee cave helped save Thai soccer team in 2018

Photos: Jackson Co. Emergency Rescue

UPDATE (8 p.m.)

The missing diver identified as Josh Bratchley of the United Kingdom has been rescued from the cave by divers. Emergency responders say all are safe on the surface following an hours-long search along Flynn's Creek Rd. in Gainesboro.

A specially trained cave diver entered the water to search for the trapped tourist at 6 p.m. The cave diver was successfully rescued by 6:58 p.m.

Jackson County authorities say once Bratchley was out of the water, he stated he was fine. He was evaluated by medical crews on scene and was found to be in stable condition. He refused medical treatment and transport.

According to the British Cave Rescue Council, Bratchley was involved in the Tham Luang rescue last year. 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued after getting trapped deep inside a partially flooded cave in Thailand.

The council extended their thanks to Tennessee rescue squads that helped bring Bratchley to safety.

"We are all delighted and very relieved of course and also very grateful to the local team in Tennessee who carried out his rescue," Bill Whitehouse with the British Cave Rescue Council tells FOX 17 News. "Excellent job!"

Authorities were first alerted of the missing diver just after 1:15 a.m. Wednesday. A group of five experienced divers staying in the area for a few days went diving, but Bratchley did not initially resurface.

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UPDATE (6:24 p.m.)

Several emergency responders have been met with obstacles in an hours-long cave rescue for a missing diver.

Crews on the scene tell FOX 17 News the rescue demands highly-trained teams. To access the cave along Flynn's Creek Rd. in Gainesboro, rescue squads are requiring to first go under a pond.

Authorities were first alerted of the missing diver just after 1:15 a.m. Wednesday. A group of five experienced divers staying in the area for a few days went diving, but one diver did not resurface.

A representative with the search efforts said the diving group has been cooperating with rescue teams, helping with details.

Jackson Co. Rescue, Chattanooga Hamilton Co. Rescue Service, TWRA, THP, and rescue teams from Arkansas and Florida have been called in to help with the search.

Part of Flynn's Creek Rd. has been shut down due to the rescue.

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 17 News as the situation unfolds.


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UPDATE: (12:20 p.m.)

More rescue teams are being called in to a cave rescue in Jackson County, Tenn.

Jackson County Emergency Management said a male diver is missing after going diving with a group of others in a cave along Flynn's Creek Road in Gainesboro.

The initial call came in at about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday morning about a group of five going diving, but one diver not coming back up. All members of the group are reported to be experienced divers, but not from the area.

To access the cave, you have to go underwater to reach dry air pockets within the cave.

Jackson County EMA said it's unclear if the divers were all in the cave at once or if they were trading in and out of the cave. The missing diver is believed to have a wetsuit and air tank. Crews aren't sure if he has food or water.

The diving group had been staying in the area for the past few days.

Jackson County Emergency Management and Hamilton County Rescue Service are on scene. Two specialized cave diving rescue teams are coming from Arkansas and Florida to assist.

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GAINESBORO, Tenn. (WZTV) - A cave rescue is underway in Jackson County, Tenn.

It's happening in the 2750 block of Flynn's Creek Road in Gainesboro where crews are trying to rescue one person.

The Chattanooga Hamilton County Rescue Service said a cave diver didn't return from a dive and 911 was initiated soemtime after midnight. Cave divers from CHCRS was asked to respond at about 4:50 a.m. Wednesday morning. Right now, cave divers are responding to the scene in attempts to do an underwater search.

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Multiple agencies are on scene of a rescue operation in Jackson County, Tenn.

It's happening in the 2750 block of Flynn's Creek Road in Gainesboro where crews are trying to rescue one person.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office confirmed officers are responding to the scene. Cave and cliff divers from the Chattanooga Hamilton County Rescue Service are also responding. Rescuers are preparing to do an underwater search.

This is a developing story and will be updated.




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