BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A 19-year-old student at Indiana University was rescued on Tuesday after spending 60 hours locked inside a cave, according to the Indiana Daily Student.
Lukas Cavar was on a beginner’s trip to Sullivan Cave in southern Indiana with 12 students and two leaders when he was separated from the group, WXIN reports. Cavar was locked behind a gate to the cave’s entrance.
“I was very confused and pretty scared,” Cavar told the paper. “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.”
Cavar could not get cell service inside the cave and screamed for help for several hours. He told the paper he licked moisture on the cave walls to stay hydrated.
One of Cavar’s friends messaged The Caving Club and told them he was missing. A few hours later, Cavar was rescued from inside the cave.
Cavar posted 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!”
The club’s president posted a statement on the university’s student intranet:
“We have a series of rigorous protocols in place that are supposed to prevent situations like this, but they are only effective if followed. We had a failure in our leadership to closely follow all these safety procedures. The risk that our member was exposed to as a result of these failures is a vivid reminder of why we have protocols.”