Brecon Beacons cave rescuers praise fantastic effort from teams across the UK

  • Report by ITV Wales journalist Dean Thomas-Welch

Rescue crews are elated after a "phenomenal success" in saving a man trapped inside a Brecon Beacons cave.

A man who was trapped in a cave for 53-hours was rescued from volunteers and crews from across the UK. 

The man, who is in his 40s, was brought out of the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu cave in the Brecon Beacons, near Ystradgynlais, at around 7.45pm on Monday after being trapped since Saturday afternoon (6 November). 

The rescue - led by the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team - has been named as one of the longest rescue missions in Welsh history.

In total, more than 300 people and rescue teams were involved in bringing the man to safety.

These included: The Gloucester Cave Rescue Group, Midlands Cave Rescue Organisation, Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation, Mendip Cave Rescue, South East Cave Rescue Organisation, the Cave Rescue Organisation, and Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association.

Cave rescuers from across the UK took part in the 53-hour rescue mission.

Steve Thomas, one of South and Mid Wales’ Cave rescue team volunteers said on Tuesday: "It’s kind of massive.

"I’m walking around and meeting team members today and everyone’s in the same state.

"It’s just amazing. Everyone’s so happy. It was a great result, which we always intended, but it was a great result and the team just worked so well."

Steve Thomas said everyone pulled together and did something amazing.

Praising the huge team effort, he added: "We brought people in from all over the UK and it just integrated perfectly. Nobody did anything wrong, there were no mishaps, everything ran like clockwork, it was amazing.’’ 

Andy Freem, another cave rescuer who was involved, said: "Everybody in the team, me included, see it as phenomenal success.

"Quite exceptional, in the sense of, not the outcome, there are often very positive outcomes, but just the sheer amount of effort and the number of teams involved and the way they worked seamlessly, making it a unique event."

Cave rescuers returned to the cave today to clear up.

Although the casualty has been transported to Morriston Hospital in Swansea, work at Ogof Ffynnon Ddu cave continues.

‘"The job now is to go through the cave and put it right, clear it up," said Mr Freem. 

"Bags have been left in various places, they’ve got to be brought out. We’ll just make sure that the cave is as it was before the rescue took place."