CANTABRIA CAVERS

Cavers missing since Saturday found safe

The two experienced speleologists had been practicing with some less experienced colleagues

Two of the four cavers are accompanied by their rescuers.
Two of the four cavers are accompanied by their rescuers. Esteban Cobo / EFE

A large deployment of military and Civil Guard rescue personnel has found four speleologists missing in a cave complex in Cantabria since last weekend.

The four entered the Acebo and Rubicera system on Saturday. Alfonso Gutiérrez Gómez, the president of the Espeleo Minas cave-mapping club, was among the missing men. He and Bruno Martínez Pledel both have more than 20 years' experience and were attempting the route to "practice with some less experienced" members, Isabel Carrillo Gil, 33, and Joaquín Gómez García, 32, said friends.

The route should take about 15 hours, said local speleologist Martín González, who added the system is one of the most difficult in Spain. "It goes down to 950 meters and there are narrow passages, underwater areas and labyrinthine sections."