Marianna- Divers claim Jackson County is home to some of the best underwater caves in the world. Monday, a team of four experienced cave divers from various parts of the country dove into Blue Springs.
The initial dive was like any other until the team followed a line, or guide, onto the wrong path. Two of the men turned around and two got stuck. One of the men managed to free himself, but the other was not as fortunate.
He somehow managed to continue through the cave hoping to come to a better spot, when the line he was following snapped. He then found himself trapped against the ceiling and running out of oxygen. When his tank ran out, he found a tiny air pocket, hoping to buy himself a few last breaths. But that was when a miracle occurred and changed his fate.
People around town call him 'Aquaman', a hero- both well deserved names. But if you asked him, he'd tell you he's just Edd.
Expert body recovery diver, Edd Sorenson has saved three divers. Until this year, only four people in the world have ever been successfully rescued while cave diving.
Sorenson recounted Monday's rescue with us."The air pocket- it was so small it should have never sustained life that long" said Sorenson. "I figured I was going to be doing a body recovery."
When the three other divers made it to shore, they called the dive shop Sorenson owns in Marianna for help. He told us, he could have never made the rescue without the help of his employees.
"My shop manager, Frank Gonzalez, he did an unbelievable job getting all my stuff ready. He sat in the back of my truck while I did almost 100 MPH down to [Blue Spring]- laying in the back of the truck putting my equipment together. So when we got here, all I had to do was put a suit on."
Sorenson recounted the conversation he had with the rescued diver once the two made it safely to shore. He told the diver had told him he had already accepted his fate. "He knew the carbon dioxide [in the air pocket] was going to take over and put him to sleep. So he said, 'All I could think about is at least it would be painless.'"
Sorenson told us rescue outcomes like Monday's were rare blessings. "Last month when I went in, the previous body recovery dive member said it was going to be impossible because his body was blocking the only way in" he explained. "It looked like it was going to be impossible, but I got him out. His father was shaking my hand, thanking me for bringing his son's body home. Two weeks ago a father was thanking me for bringing his daughter out alive. That's such a better feeling."
And those weren't the only grateful fathers. "I tell people at the gym all the time what a hero my son is here in Florida" Edd's father, Gary Sorenson said. "So they all know I'm a proud Poppa."
Gary was in Marianna visiting from Oregon celebrating his and Edd's birthdays which are just days apart. Edd said Monday's rescue was the best birthday gift he could have received.