The girlfriend of a caver rescued ­after being trapped for 57 hours thanked hero volunteers who saved his life.

George Linnane suffered broken bones when a boulder fell on him in Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, 900ft below the Brecon Beacons, Powys, Wales.

His partner, who asked not to be named, said: “We are very grateful to all the rescuers.”

George’s mum Sally Linnane-Hemmens, of Titchfield, Hants, is fundraising for South & Mid Wales Cave Rescue and posted online: “These guys, along with several other cave rescue teams from across the UK, saved my son’s life today.

“He had been trapped underground for 50 hours plus and is badly injured. It was the biggest cave rescue in the UK – involving 250 people.”

Engineering company boss George, 38, of Bradley Stoke, Bristol, is at University Hospital Wales in Cardiff and will need several operations.

Rescuers undertook 12-hour shifts to help save George's life in what has been branded Britain's most-daring underground rescue operation.

He is said to be undergoing treatment at University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff.

A friend said: "George is very experienced and he's known in the caving world for being a reliable guy – he doesn't take risks.

"Throughout the rescue George was very stoic, that's the kind of person he is. He's got a huge amount of experience in cave exploration and has qualified as an underground diver as well."

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Photos show rescuers in tight spots as they had to manoeuvre through the caves to reach the stricken caver.

George, who suffered a broken jaw leg and jaw in the ordeal, was clapped and cheered after being helped into a cave rescue Land Rover to be transported down to a waiting ambulance.

The operation took 57 hours in total.

Among the 250 emergency responders who helped pull off the rescue attempt were the team who saved 12 young Thai footballers who were trapped in a cave in 2018.

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