Specialty diver describes rescuing man from Jackson Co. cave

Tennessee News

He’s best known as one of the elite cave divers who saved the Thai soccer players. 

But this time, Josh Bratchley became the one needing rescuing. 

“He just looked at me and said, ‘i’m not used to being on this end of the rescue'”, said Edd Sorenson, the diver who rescued him. 

Bratchley went diving with friends at Mill Pond Cave Tuesday. 

Despite its appearance from above ground, it’s a challenging cave for even the most experienced. With tight turns and jagged edges, it’s 400 feet long with three feet wide passages in some points, only 55 degrees. 

“There was a group of about five that went in to explore this cave. When they came back out, they were missing this one individual,” said Jackson County EMA PIO Derek Woolbright.  

Local authorities didn’t go in after him, it was too risky. 

Specialty diver Edd Sorenson was sent from Florida to help save him. 36 hours after he went missing, Sorenson found him in an air pocket. 

“I was amazed. I probably could have been to him sooner, but I was looking for every nook and cranny for a body, so when I popped out of the surface, I was looking directly at him,” said Sorenson. 

Bratchley is familiar with caves himself. He was part of the team that saved 12 soccer players. 

“The relief when we emerged to find that the kids were safe was just amazing,” Bratchley previously said about the experience. 

Now, another remarkable moment for Bratchley, but one that calls for a simple celebration. 

“His only request was that he wanted some pizza,” said Woolbright. 

Bratchley was covered in mud and was really cold, but uninjured. 

He actually still says he’s looking forward to his next cave dive. 

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