A college freshman says he survived a 60-hour stay inside a locked Indiana cave by licking the wall.
Indiana University freshman Lukas Cavar, 19, was on a spelunking trip with 12 others from the school’s caving club to Sullivan Cave, located 10 miles away from Bloomington. At some point in the exploration of the cave, Cavar separated from the group. According to CBS News, club members had padlocked the cave’s gate. Because there was no cell phone signal, the teen reportedly screamed for hours, hoping that somebody on nearby road might hear him.
"It took me a little while to wrangle my emotions and sort of approach things analytically, sensibly, to come up with a game plan to survive," Cavar said Thursday.
He was rescued on Tuesday. He attempted to pick the padlock with a paper clip, with no success. To survive, he used energy bar wrappers to collect moisture and the empty water bottles to collect rainfall and cave water, CBS reports. Additionally, he licked the cave’s wall, which was damp.
Cavar told media outlets that he also hunted cave crickets but he didn’t end up eating any of them.
CBS affiliate WTTV reports that Cavar’s parents filed a missing person report with university police, after he stopped returning their text messages.
"I'm really glad to be alive. It feels like I've been given a second chance," said Cavar. After he was released from the cave, Cavar chowed down on a bowl of pasta and a leftover Big Mac that a rescuers brought to the cave.
“Probably the best food I’ve had in my life,” Cavar told IDS.
The caving club's president said the club failed. "We had a failure in our leadership to closely follow all these safety procedures," he stated.