Rescued Indiana caver recalls being trapped for 39 hours

CORYDON, Ind. (WDRB) – Seven cavers were rescued early Monday morning after 39 hours trapped in the Binkley Cave System, and one of them spoke out about the experience.

Sarah Blevins and six other cavers set out Saturday on a 12- to 15-hour cave survey, but heavy rain on the surface caused water in the cave to rise higher than expected.

“Going in, the water was maybe ankle deep, but coming out, it had risen up to my chest," Blevins said.

Indiana DNR Officers and the National Cave Rescue System helped the seven cavers out of the Binkley Cave System around 3 a.m. Monday.

Temperatures in the cave stays at a constant 55 degrees, but it was the cold water temperature temperature that made hypothermia a concern.

The cavers climbed to a higher level above the water, lit candles and huddled with trash bags for warmth.

After the cavers failed to return at their scheduled time, rescue crews became concerned and decided to enter the cave for a search.

“We didn’t know on the surface exactly where they were when this excessive rainfall hit, so where they were, that was a concern because we didn’t know where,” said Gary Roberson, CEO of Indiana Caverns.

Crews says they were somewhat at ease knowing the seven cavers were all very experienced. One of them had already been part of a separate rescue team.

Blevins spent much of Monday resting and “trying to get warm” from the weekend but has no hesitations to getting back to her passion of exploring caves.

“I am still going to go back in there ... maybe not for a little while to get rested up, but I will definitely be back down there.”


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