A British diver who helped save 12 schoolboys trapped in a cave in Thailand has himself been rescued from a flooded tunnel in the US after more than a day underground.
Josh Bratchley had been exploring a cave in Jackson County, Tennessee, with a group of divers from the UK.
He failed to return to the surface with the rest of a party after they emerged at around 3pm on Tuesday.
Emergency services were alerted and expert divers from Arkansas and Florida were flown in and entered the 400ft cave system and successfully brought the diver to the surface at around 7pm on Wednesday.
“He was awake, alert and oriented,” rescue official Derek Woolbright told a news conference.
“His only request when he got to the surface was that he wanted some pizza.”
Edd Sorenson, a cave specialist for the Chattanooga Hamilton County Rescue Service who rescued the Briton, said when he found the diver, he was waiting “as calm as could be” in an air pocket.
“He just said ‘thank you, thank you. Who are you?’ I said ‘I’m Edd Sorenson’, and he said ‘I should have known. I saw the sidewinder’.”
Mr Sorenson said: “We had a nice talk, while he started to gear back up. He had all his equipment off and was sitting in the mud.
I just gave a play-by-play what we’re going to do. I said I’m going to basically move your hand from place to place, trying to take the thinking out of it.
“But it really wasn’t necessary. His mental state was impeccable.”
A meteorologist by trade, Mr Bratchley was part of a team of British cave diving experts who helped rescue The Wild Boars football team and their coach from a flooded cave in Thailand last June.
He was honoured at a reception held by the prime minister at Downing Street and appointed an MBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list.