Two divers found eight explorers safe last night on a dry ledge 1,800 feet from the entrance of a flooded cave in which they were trapped for three days. Rescuers were waiting for the water level to drop so the eight could be walked out.
"They are all fine," said Tom Staubitz, chairman of the Greater Cincinnati Grotto Club, in contact with the cavers by field telephone. "They are a little cold but are fully able to get out on their own power."
The two divers were led to the ledge by a note they found in the cave in a previous search for the explorers, missing since Saturday morning.
The note, headlined "HELP" in large letters, said: "Eight cavers waiting on dry ledge 1,800 feet upstream from here. Leave diving tanks here. Only needed for entrance. Been here since 11 a.m. Saturday 4-23. Now Monday 4-25 12 noon."
Divers Jeff Forbes and Steve Magerlien said they found the note near where provisions were left for the missing explorers earlier in the day by another diver.
The eight speliologists entered the cave on a routine cave-mapping trip and were trapped when underground streams rose quickly and flooded the corkscrew-like entrance area.