A cave diver's worst nightmare became a 60-hour reality: Geology teacher Xisco Gràcia, 54, found himself stranded in small air pocket in the underwater cave system of the Spanish island Mallorca, the BBC reports.
Out of supplemental oxygen, Gràcia had no food and only a small chance of survival as he sat in the cave, waiting for rescue.
A case of Murphy's Law escalated a routine cave dive to worst-case scenario for Gràcia, according to the article. Gràcia and
his friend Gulillem Mascaro were heading out of the caves when they stirred up some silt—making it hard to see—and realized that the nylon guideline they were using to maneuver their way out of the caves had broken.
According to the article, the divers spent over an hour looking for the line, which exhausted almost all of their oxygen. They were forced to a nearby chamber that contained an air pocket that Gràcia had discovered earlier to try figure out a new way out.
The two discovered that they only had enough air between the two of them for one to get out of the caves.
"We decided that I would stay and (Mascaro) would go for help. He was skinnier than me and needed less air for breathing. I was also more experienced at breathing cave air, which has higher carbon dioxide levels," Gràcia told BBC.
And so Mascaro left, and Gràcia got comfortable as he could with the air pocket, which had a couple rocks he could climb up on and wait. As time ticked by, he realized that the water in the cave was drinkable. That helped for the thirst, but not with the quality of air, which was close to 5 percent carbon dioxide—a big change from ground-level air, which has a carbon dioxide level of .04 percent.
For more than two days, he fought hallucinations, headaches, and exhaustion caused by the carbon dioxide, along with the relentless hunger and the thoughts that he'd never be found.
Finally, rescuers bubbled into the chamber.
According to the article, a month after his rescue he was back in the water, exploring caves. "I have spent 24 years exploring underground," Gràcia told BBC. "It's in my blood."
Gràcia's crazy survival story reminds us a lot of this guy's recollection of how he survived getting hit by a car and falling off a 50-foot bridge. Both are simply unbelievable.