A 19-year-old student has survived being trapped in a cave for 60-hours without food or water.
Lukas Cavar was visiting Sullivan Cave in Indiana with the Indiana University Caving Club on Sunday when the group left without him.
When Cavar reached the entrance gate, he found it padlocked shut. He shouted for help for between six and eight hours, hoping that passing motorists would hear, but his cries fell on deaf ears.
Cavar told the Indiana Daily Student: “I was very confused and pretty scared. It took me a little while to wrangle my emotions and sort of approach things analytically, sensibly, to come up with a game plan to survive.”
The physics student kept himself going by licking water droplets off the cave walls, snacking on crumbs stuck to energy bar wrappers and writing farewell messages to his family on his phone – though there was no mobile reception in the cave.
He was rescued late on Tuesday night, when the group’s leader realised what had happened and raced back to get him; the man who locked him in was also the one that freed him.
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Cavar said: “You could tell they were pretty shaken up. They did near kill me. I can’t imagine what kind of guilt they felt.”
He admits that the bowl of pasta and Big Mac he ate on being rescued was “probably the best food I’ve had in my life”.
Cavar was happy to share the news of his release with his friends and family, writing on Facebook: “Just wanted to let everyone know that I’m safe and sound! Just got rescued about 30 minutes ago. Boy, it’s good to be back on the surface!”
He has recovered quickly from his ordeal and is back at university and his job at the campus library.
According to the Indiana Daily Student, the caving club wasn’t prepared to comment on how Cavar became separated from the rest of the group.