The man was rescued on Wednesday after miraculously surviving for three days in the Arizona mine shaft.

By Joelle Goldstein
October 18, 2018 10:19 PM
Credit: Fox 10

An Arizona man has miraculously survived a three-day ordeal after falling into a mine shaft and breaking both his legs, where he was then trapped and surrounded by rattlesnakes.

John Waddell, 62, was pulled from the 100-foot deep shaft on Wednesday after his friend, Terry Schrader, went searching for him and heard Waddell desperately calling for help in the hole, FOX10 Phoenix reports.

“He had called me Monday, and told me he was coming to the mine,” Schrader told the outlet. “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.”

“As I pulled up my truck,” he continued. “I could hear him hollering help, help.”

The spot reportedly had no cell phone service which made it difficult to call for help, but Schrader said he was able to find just enough service to call for deputies.

Waddell fell into the shaft — located near Aguila, just 90 miles outside of Phoenix — on Monday, breaking both of his legs.

Instead of focusing solely on his leg injuries, Waddell was terrifyingly joined by some unexpected visitors slithering underground with him: a trio of rattlesnakes. In order to survive, Schrader said he killed all three of them and managed to avoid being bitten by the serpents.

On Wednesday afternoon, Sgt. Enriquez from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that their Search and Rescue team was preparing to rescue Waddell, who was “alert and talking.”

About two hours after the initial tweet, Enriquez shared that the team was “getting ready to lower a medic into the mine shaft.”

It took the rescue team close to six hours to rescue Waddell from the mine shaft, reports Fox News.

He was later airlifted to a hospital with severe dehydration and broken bones but did not suffer any life-threatening injuries.

“We are looking forward to his recovery,” Sgt. Enriquez wrote. “Great outcome today with all MCSO and law enforcement partners.”

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Despite the traumatic circumstances, Shrader told the Fox News that he’s certain his friend will make a full recovery.

“He’s tough, he’s a tough guy,” he said. “He’ll be okay.”