By Joe McFarlane
Two adventurers survived a surprise flash flood in a hidden cave in the California wilderness.
Jesse St Louis and his friend Willie Price were out enjoying the wilds around Santa Ana mountains on February 2 when their adventure almost turned into a disaster.
To their surprise the heavens opened and the torrential downpours soaked the pair through forcing the duo to shelter in a nearby cave.
However, the storm outside was nothing compared to the raging flash flood filling the small crooks and crannies of the cave inside.
The pair ventured deeper and deeper into the dark cave, initially thrilled with their discovery but with the fast-flowing waters, trepidation and anxiety set in on Jesse.
Balancing on slippery rocks, and squeezing down an increasingly narrow tunnel, the pair luckily managed to barge their way through the roaring water and safely escaped out of the other side of the cave.
Jesse said: “I don’t usually get claustrophobic, but in the tightest spots, I really wanted to move as quick and precise as possible so that I wouldn’t get stuck, in case the water flow had another abrupt increase.
“The thought of being wedged in between rocks without being able to move and getting hammered by a drowning flow is pretty scary.
“Initially, I felt like we would be ok as long as the flow didn’t get too much higher.
“But at some points, as the cave got tighter and the water got deeper, I was constantly re-evaluating whether we needed to turn back.
“The danger I felt was trying not to slip and hit my head.
“Also, there were some parts where the water was an unknown depth.
“You have to be very careful stepping into deep water because you could break your ankle very easily in between some boulders.”