MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - Rescue teams from Morgan and Madison counties responded to a cave to help locate a person missing in a cave Thursday morning.
A 38-year-old man was found in the cave around 1 p.m., crews on the scene said. They expected to have him out within an hour. Crews said he was in "OK" condition.
The Morgan County Sheriff's Office said teams were responding to a cave in the Newsome Sinks area around 10 a.m. Thursday.
Tommy MacPherson with the Brindlee Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, who said he has almost 30 years of experience in cave rescues, said the cave is about two miles long and has three layers.
“With the cave being in three levels, we sent our initial response team to go up the upper level and holler down through the cracks," he said.
According to the sheriff's office, three people went into the cave around 3:30 a.m. and two of them came out around 6 a.m.
“There was three in the original party, one was having a panic attack and one of the guys brought her out, and for some reason they separated from the other guy and he never came out," MacPherson said.
They called 911 to alert authorities of the missing man four hours later.
An initial crew searched for several hours before a secondary crew began a more thorough search and found the man.
Hours later more crews were sent in to explore different levels and found him.
“He was okay, just lost," MacPherson said after the rescue debrief. "He thought if he kept going up he would find the entrance and obviously that’s not the way it goes.”
Officials on the scene said the cave is on private property and the people were trespassing.
Rescue squads and volunteer firefighters from Morgan County, Brindlee Mountain, Florette and Huntsville were responding.