PHOENIX — An Arizona prospector realizes he’s lucky to be alive after surviving nearly three days at the bottom of an old abandoned gold mine shaft in the Arizona desert and staring down rattlesnakes.
John Waddell, 60, broke his left leg and ankle when the rigging he used to lower himself into the 100-foot (30-meter) shaft about 90 miles (140 kilometres) northwest of Phoenix broke on Oct. 15.
He free-fell to the rocky bottom and saw that his left leg “was flopped up and my ankle was going the other way,” according to Waddell. He had a cellphone but no service. A flashlight that didn’t provide light for very long. And no food or water.
Waddell said he killed three diamondback rattlesnakes with a stick before they could strike — including two the first day — and then hung on before he was finally rescued Oct. 17 when a friend drove to the mine and heard his cries for help.
“If I stayed down there, I knew I was going to die,” Waddell said Sunday at a news conference at a Phoenix hospital where he’s recovering from his injuries. “I was scared. Just about all hope was gone.”
For the rest of this article: https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/arizona-man-talks-about-2-day-ordeal-in-abandoned-mine-shaft