GAINESBORO, TN (WSMV) - The man who created a map of the Mill Pond Cave in rural Jackson County retrieved it after it sat on his computer hard drive for two years – unused.
“Having as much info as you can provide them before you get in the water with that map, it’s a good thing to have,” Jason Richards said on Thursday, the day after a diver was rescued from the cave.
Richards created the map of the cave that was used in helping pull the stranded diver out of the cave on Wednesday.
Josh Bratchley, from Great Britain, got stuck in the middle of the Jackson County cave after he got separated from the rest of the group. He was stuck in the cave for 24 hours before an out-of-state dive team went in and found him.
Even with the map, Richards said he believed the rescue would be a tough task.
“I was a little concerned because there are portions that are fairly small,” said Richards. “When I first did the dive two years ago, visibility was 18 to 20 inches.”
Fortunately, visibility was better than that on Wednesday.
Richards said it was about four feet when the rescue diver went in and all the planning paid off.
“I’m the one who told them where to expect the diver and the fact that that's where he was didn't surprise me at all," said Richards.
Richards created the map of the cave during a dive in 2017.
He said the conditions couldn’t have been much better for a rescue, especially with divers navigating the cave for the first time.