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May 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Good Luck and Bad Luck

from the May, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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A Spanish cave explorer, diving in the cave system Sa Piqueta on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, was lucky to be rescued after spending 60 hours trapped in an air pocket. After suffering a cave collapse at 130 feet (40m) deep, around 3,000 feet (900m) from the cave entrance, his buddy went for help. It was Saturday, April 15, but rescuers were unable to reach him until just before midnight on Monday.

Xisco Gracia and Guillem Mascaro were exploring the cave when things went horribly wrong. Gracia, a speleologist who is a specialist in Mallorca's submarine caverns, spent most of his time in total darkness, drinking fresh water from a small lake, not knowing that Mascaro had found his way out to summon help. However, Mascaro did not know exactly where he had left his friend, because the water had become turbid. They could have tried to get out together on one diver's air supply, but that might have resulted in both divers dying. Gracia was lucky to have found an air pocket and even luckier yet that he himself was found....

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