Five men who were trapped in a cave in southwest Virginia have been rescued, according to authorities.
Six men in total entered a popular diving cave called Cyclops Cave on Friday around 7 p.m., and only one of them emerged from the cave on Sunday morning around 2 a.m. The 22-year-old went to authorities and told them that the others were having difficulty getting out - and that they were exhausted and starting to have problems with hypothermia.
The five men are between the ages of 34 and 59. Teams extracted all the men alive by Sunday evening after beginning operations in the morning.
Three of the men were able to climb out on their own, said Billy Chrimes, search and rescue coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Four of the men were taken to a local hospital, while the other was taken to Bristol Regional Medical Center in Tennessee.
Heavy rains made it more difficult for the men to climb out once they were inside the cave, and damp conditions muddied the cave. Authorities say that the men were not lost, and didn't travel far into the 7-mile-long cave before needing help.
Chrimes says he does not know if the men had the skills, equipment or permission to safely explore the cave.