A 62-year-old man from Arizona fell down a 100-foot mine shaft and was stuck in a subterranean nightmare for two days.
He would later discover that being trapped in the dark would be the least of his worries.
The man, later identified as John Waddell, was rescued from the shaft on Wednesday near Eagle Eye Road and Mile Post 13, located south of Aguila, 90 miles outside of Phoenix.
He was flown to a hospital and did not suffer life-threatening injuries. However, he did break both legs and was severely dehydrated by the time help came.
Arizona man falls to the bottom of an abandoned gold mine shaft, broke both his legs, fought off rattlesnakes and w… https://t.co/hV8hJG6oTq— AP West Region (@AP West Region) 1539930297.0
Waddell had gone on a quest looking for gold on Monday when he took an accidental stumble into the dark abyss.
He had no cell service and waited in the darkness while enduring the enormous amount of pain from his bone fractures.
Soon, he would discover he was not alone in the darkness.
Waddell found there were rattlesnakes occupying the same space.
@APWestRegion @AP I'll never say I had a bad day again— Ali&Ric (@Ali&Ric) 1539939946.0
Ready to fight for his life, he allegedly managed to kill three of the venomous rattlers with his bare hands before he could get bit, according to Fox 10.
@APWestRegion @AP that is proven hero— Karigi waMukuhi (@Karigi waMukuhi) 1539935301.0
@FoxNews This dude wins the bad bad man award for the week 1 - he was searching for something around a mine shaft i… https://t.co/KpRPbFvI0u— Scooter Bentley (@Scooter Bentley) 1539880539.0
Terry Schrader, a friend, found Waddell by Wednesday.
Fortunately, the two agreed on a prior security measure before the gold digger set off on his own on Monday.
Schrader recalled the earlier discussion between he and Waddell.
"He had called me Monday, and told me he was coming to the mine. We always had a deal. If he is not back by Tuesday, because he said he would be back Tuesday."
"I didn't come down Tuesday, I did today. He didn't get back and here's what we found. I was afraid of what I was going to find."
He drove out in search of his missing friend when he heard his screams coming within the mine shaft.
"As I pulled out my truck I could hear him hollering, 'Help, help!'"
"I did get enough [cellphone service] that the deputies were on their way."
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team spent six hours trying to rescue Waddell.
Sgt. Enriquez was proud of his team in the rescue operation, tweeting:
"We are looking forward to his recovery. Great outcome today with all MCSO and law enforcement partners."
The victim that was rescued from the mine shaft today was airlifted to a local hospital with non life threatening i… https://t.co/Gbg6oIA6ro— @SgtJEnriquez (@@SgtJEnriquez) 1539837349.0
@SgtJEnriquez Thank you Sgt. for the update. And a HUGE thank you to all of his rescuers!— Peggy D (@Peggy D) 1539837841.0
@SgtJEnriquez A great story with a happy ending!— David French (@David French) 1539857270.0
Waddell is not only a survivor, the sexagenarian proved himself to be quite a warrior.