Incident Date Completed Country Location Details References
28 APR 1894 7 MAY 1894 Austria Lurloch / Lurgrotte cave in Styria Seven cavers were trapped after a flash flood. A hardhat diver attempted to pass through the sump but was not able to bypass the debris that had washed into it. Workers including miners and divers bailed out the entrance and rescued the cavers after ten days in the cave. "The Darkness Beckons" by Martyn Farr
19 MAR 1907 28 MAR 1907 Australia Bonnie Vale Gold mine flooded by rain. Resupplied by hard hat diver. "The Entombed Miner: A True Account of an Astonishing Rescue" by Tom Austen
24 OCT 1963 7 NOV 1963 Germany Lengede-Broistedt Iron Mine in Salzgitter Known as the Miracle of Lengede. A sedimentation pond broke and flooded a large portion of the mine. Many men were trapped underground. They were rescued through a variety of means, including drilling down into air pockets where they were trapped. The extraction included maintaining high air pressure so the patients did not get DCS. Wikipedia
24 JUN 1967 25 JUN 1967 England Mossdale Caverns in Grassington Ten cavers entered Mossdale Caverns. Four left early. One returned to the entrance soon after in a rainstorm and noticed the entrance was flooded. Rescuers were called out and eventually were able to divert the stream going into the entrance. Rescuers were able to enter the cave the next day and eventually found all six had perished.
3 MAR 1979 4 MAR 1979 USA Anderson Spring in LaFeyette, GA Eleven cavers visited the cave, four made it out before it fully sumped due to rain. The local dive team was not able to access the patients. As the water lowered, two other divers entered the cave, found the patients, and escorted them out on their octos.
23 APR 1983 26 APR 1983 USA Precint 11 cave in Kentucky Eight cavers got trapped by rain. Pumps got started lowering the water, but fumes got sucked into the cave later. Cave diver George Veni didn't find them on the first dive, but on a subsequent dive did bring with him supplies for them including blankets. They were led out, nose breathing, once the water was low enough. Forrest Wilson and Steve Hudson were also involved. "Cave Explorers Escape Down Flooded Passage, Celebrate With Dinner", Chip Brown, The Washington Post, 27 APR 1983
13 JUL 1991 15 JUL 1991 Venezuela Acarite cave near Curimagua Two non-cave-trained divers, Gustavo Badilla Arenas and Eduardo Wallis, were exploring underwater cave passages and got lost. One made it out and the other surfaced in an air bell. Steve Gerrard and John Orlowski flew in from the USA, found, and led him out.
10 MAR 1992 11 MAR 1992 UK Sleets Gill cave near Littondale Two dry cavers trapped by rain. They were swam out by the BCRC. The cave flooded to the ceiling soon after. Hard Decisions at Sleets Gill by Sid Perou
15 AUG 1992 16 AUG 1992 USA Nickajack Lake cave near New Hope, TN David Gant and a buddy were cave diving in a cave connected to an artificial lake with a dam, and got lost. The buddy made it out but Gant surfaced in an air bell. The dam allowed extra water to be released and lowered the giant lake connecting to the cave by 14", and the last 1.5" allowed fresh air into Gant. He was discovered and rescued soon after by Buddy Lane and Dennis Curry. The Bat Cave Miracle
2002 Sarkhos Cave The Wikipedia article on cave sumps mentions a 2002 sump rescue in Sarkhos cave in an unknown country where there was a rescue where water was pumped out of the sump to a dam at a higher level than the sump. Wikipedia
26 JAN 2002 31 JAN 2002 Hungary Rákóczi Cave near Bódvarákó A cave diver had his line break in silty water. He found a dry chamber to crawl up into that had a long small hole to the main dry part of the cave. Rescuers were able to make voice contact with him. They worked on widening the hole while divers found the way to him and kept him warm and fed. He was considered not healthy enough to dive out of the cave. Eventually he exited through the widened tunnel. Incident Report
24 JUL 2002 28 JUL 2002 USA Quecreek Mine in Lincoln Township, PA Coal miners accidentally intersected another flooded mine, and had to retreat to high ground. A tunnel was bored down to them and pressurized air was added to try to preserve their air bell. Other tunnels were dug down to pump out water. A large diameter hole was bored out and the miners were individually raised up through it. "Nine For Nine: The Pennsylvania Mine Rescue Miracle" by Andrew Morton
16 MAR 2004 24 MAR 2004 Mexico Cuetzalán cave near Cuetzalán, Puebla Six British dry cavers trapped by rain. Rick Stanton and Jason Mallinson swam them out.
04 DEC 2010 06 DEC 2010 Bulgaria Duhlata cave near Bosnek Four people were trapped in Duhlata cave after rain raised the water level. Excavators were brought in from out of town to enlargen the springs downstream of the cave. This helped the cave drain faster. All four were rescued after the water dropped enough. Incident Report
15 APR 2017 17 APR 2017 Spain Sa Piqueta cave in Mallorca Two cave divers were diving. So much time was spent fixing a broken line, that one (Xisco Gracia) stayed in an air bell, while the other took all their gas and exited by another route. A team brought in fresh gas to Xisco, and he exited after 60 hours in the cave. "Two days in an underwater cave running out of oxygen", BBC World Service, Claire Bates, 17 JUL 2017
APR 2018 APR 2018 Mexico Cueva de la Peña Colorada Six cave divers exploring dry cave beyond the third sump were separated from their diving equipment by massive rise in water level caused by rain. After the water started to drop, Teddy Garlock ran a guideline to help them travel through the remaining temporarily sumped passages and get their dive gear. They were isolated for sixty-nine hours with only a few candy bars and a space blanket. Teddy Garlock's blog post
23 JUN 2018 10 JUL 2018 Thailand Tham Luang cave near Pong Pha, Chiang Rai Twelve football players and their coach were trapped in the cave after a rainstorm. They were located and then over three days were swum out. "The Boys in the Cave: Deep Inside the Impossible Rescue in Thailand" by William Morrow
18 JUL 2019 19 JUL 2019 USA Mill Pond cave near Jackson county, TN Replacing and laying new line in low vis., two divers reversed their positions and Josh Bratchley surfaced in an air bell with no line back to the entrance. Edd Sorenson and Mike Young were flown in after his buddies spent many hours looking for him. Sorenson found the route and swam him out.
28 JUL 2019 29 JUL 2019 Germany Falkenstein cave in Bad Urach Two cavers, a guide and a tourist, were trapped by rain. Rescuers, including Rainer Straub, brought in supplies, warmed them up, then scuba dived them out.
17 AUG 2019 9 SEP 2019 Poland Wielka Śnieżna cave in the Tatra mountains Two cavers trapped by rain perished. Rescuers could not open things up in time. Possible exposive fume issues.


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