Josh Bratchley walked past Tuesday when he failed to leave a cave, which he explored with four others, according to the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency.
The group of experienced divers lazily in the cave in Gainesboro, north of Cookeville. After eating, they noticed that Bratchley was missing. They called 911 early Wednesday, according to the EMA.
Specialized divers from Arkansas and Florida were called to help what officials considered a "high tech rescue". On Wednesday night, Bratchley was released from the water, according to the agency.
He was awake, alert and oriented when he found.
"His only request was that he wanted pizza," said Derek Woolbright, EMA spokesman, during a press conference.
Edd Sorenson, a Florida rescue diver who flew into Tennessee to rescue Bratchley, described finding Bratchley in an air pocket in the flooded hole.
"He said" Thank you, thank you. Who are you? & # 39; "Said sorenson." We had a good speech. "
Officials said it took Cave Adventure diver Sorrenson 45 to 50 minutes to find the captured diver.
" This was a really tiny, unpleasant cave, " said Sorrenson, saying many similar missions have been restorative efforts rather than rescued, and he was surprised to find Bratchley alive.
Both officials and Sorenson cited Bratchley's calm and mental strength as keys to his survival. [1
Tennessee Cave is about 3 miles away the main road and in a very rural area. Ethan Burris from the Jackson County Sheriff Office said the group had been in the area for two to three days mapping the Mill Pond Cave.
"You must go underwater to get into the cave," said Burris. "The cards we have are not entirely sure how deep it is right now".
The other members of the missing diving group were on site to offer and assist in the rescue effort.
"They are our greatest asset to get us cave information on how it is laid out," Burris said.