After a week spent in the claustrophobia of Germany’s deepest cave, caver Johann Westhauser has finally been brought to the surface.
He will now be rushed to hospital. The extent of injuries to his chest and head is still unknown.
The magnitude of the challenge to bring him to the surface has been applauded by Norbert Heiland of the Bavarian mountain rescue team:
“I don’t want to be too over the top but I think one can say that during the last 12 days a new chapter of Alpine rescue has been written here at the Untersberg (mountain)”
It it a rescue that has required international know-how from 728 people. Seasoned cavers had to navigate 1,000m into the belly of the cave, a length greater than the Eiffel Tower.
It was in this spot the German was found after being injured by falling rocks. Those involved had to haul Westhauser through a tapestry of deep shafts and narrow passages, before a final vertical stretch of around 180m.
Johann was one of those who first discovered the giant cave system, back in 1995.