"When Laura Trowbridge, a 22-year-old student from London, decided to take part
in a television documentary, she could not know what an ordeal it would all become.
Otter Hole, a 2-km long cave where the documentary was shot, is known for being dangerous.
Being an experienced caver, Laura was well aware of the danger, but some accidents cannot
As the team members were passing some equipment to each other, Laura slipped
and fell down 7 feet from a ledge inside the cave. Luckily, there was a doctor among them
who gave first aid to the woman.
Paul Taylor, of Gloucestershire Cave Rescue, says she was too hurt to make it out
of the cave and the situation got critical when part of the rescue route flooded at high tide.
The volunteers rescued her after the tide dropped on the River Wye, allowing them to crawl
through the muddy rock system. She was carried 750 metres on a stretcher through mud and
slippery rocks to the entrance of the cave by a chain of people who worked throughout
the night and day.
Peter Hobson, a rescuer, says Laura was a super patient. She was cheerful and calm,
and her attitude made the job so much easier. She must have been in a lot of pain but did not
show it. It was very tight and restricted in the cave, and the amount of mud made movement
difficult. Peter points out that it was a superhuman effort by the rescue team in very difficult
The rescue operation was delayed by last minute problems. The last ten metres took
more than two hours to complete, and Laura was given painkillers. She often had to be
removed from the stretcher due to the tight passages and narrow tunnels. One passage was
even compared to a letterbox.
Sam Moor, another rescuer, says that he feels a great sense of relief. He spent a lot of
time lying on his back with a stretcher on top of him to keep it out of the mud. Laura was very
determined throughout. Sam also says that jokes and banter were used to keep up spirits.
In his opinion, you have to laugh and joke in such critical situations to make people more
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