Josh Bratchley has been identified as the British cave diver who was declared missing and trapped in a cave in Jackson County, Tennessee, on Wednesday. He was rescued on Wednesday evening.
According to ABC News, Bratchley was declared missing early Wednesday morning, after a group of tourists from the UK reported one of their divers had not made it back to the surface. The group attempted an additional dive to try to locate Bratchley, but could not find him, and then called 911.
Bratchley was rescued by expert divers on Wednesday evening and determined to be in good health, according to ABC.
Bratchley is considered an expert cave diver, according to NBC News affiliate WBIR. He has extensive experience, including his work as a part of the dive team that successfully saved a Thailand Soccer team from a cave last year.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bratchley Was Missing Inside of the Mill Pond Cave in Northern Tennessee
The video above, as released by ABC News, shows the area in Jackson County where Bratchley was missing, specifically the Mill Pond Cave in northern Tennessee. Specialty divers have been flown in to attempt to locate and save Bratchley according to ABC7 New York.
Here is the map that responders and divers released that showed their plan to locate Bratchley:
Per the news network, first responders believed Bratchley is located in an air bell of the cave, where there was enough oxygen to last him around a day.
2. Bratchley Was a Part of the 18-Day Effort to Save a Thailand Soccer Team From a Cave
Last July, Bratchley was a part of a group of expert divers who participated in one of the most intense cave rescues recorded, where they tried and succeeded in saving a group of 12 young Thai soccer players and their coach, who became stuck deep inside the Tham Luang cave.
According to X-Ray Magazine, Bratchley was handpicked for the mission, just like the rest of the team. To the magazine, he said, “It’s incredible to be recognised in such a way and all of us on the team are extremely appreciative of all the support that we’ve received from family, friends, cavers, divers, colleagues and strangers alike.”
3. Bratchley Received the ‘MBE’ Award for His Efforts in the Thai Rescue Mission
Bratchley received extensive recognition for his incredible work in the dive mission to save the Thai Soccer team. One such award he received was the “MBE” award, an acronym which stands for “Member of the Order of the British Empire,” and was given by the British Cave Rescue Council.
Two other divers, Connor Roe and Vernon Unsworth, were also bestowed with this honor. Additionally, two divers named Rick Stanton and John Volan then received George Medals, and two divers named Chris Jewell and Jason Mallinson received Queen’s Gallantry Medals.
4. Bratchley’s ‘Day Job’ Is at Met Office in the UK, Where He Works as an Operational Meteorologist
According to his Facebook, Bratchley works at UK company Met Office as an Operational Meteorologist. In an interview with the Met Office blog following news of his success with the Thai Soccer expedition, Bratchley gave a little bit of information about himself.
He said, “I have trained for years with the UK Cave Diving Group, which is the oldest amateur diving club in the world. I’d only recently returned in April from an expedition to the cave systems under the Sierra Mazateca mountains in Mexico, where we were camping for over a week at a time in caverns beyond flooded passages.”
He also shared some of his adventurous plans to come:
My immediate future plans – as far as September, anyway – include alpine caving in the Dachstein mountain range in Austria looking to make a connection in to the Hirlatzhohle from above to create one of the world’s deepest caves, and cave diving in the Picos de Europa in northern Spain, where we’re also looking to try and connect some deep caves together.
5. Bratchley Often Shares Diving & Adventure Photos to His Facebook
Bratchley’s Facebook is filled with his diving and adventure chronicles. Many of the photos show just how complex diving can be, equal parts intricate planning and danger prevention: