Rescuers had despaired of finding Marbella fireman José Luis Rubio alive after he got lost in the Genal cave near the headwaters of the river of the same name. He had set out with two fellow firemen from Marbella to explore the cave’s underwater streams last Thursday morning. When they emerged from the cave later that day they realised that their 28-year-old co-worker was not with them. Ronda firemen chief Alejandro Hurtado told the rescuers it could take up to seven hours to locate the missing man and he feared that he would have run out of oxygen by then. The only hope was that the fireman might be trapped where there was an air bubble. After he emerged under his own steam, Sr Rubio told delighted rescuers rescuer that one of his neighbours had told him about an alternative exit to the cave via a little-known grotto. He was lucky enough to find it and had to climb a 25-metre-high chimney in the grotto’s roof before reaching a hole loosely covered with shrubs. Elsewhere in the Ronda mountains, a woman fell down the side of a mountain where she was herding her goats and broke her leg. Fortunately a person living nearby heard her shouts for helps and dialled 112. A Guardia Civil rescue team experienced in difficult mountain rescues brought her out on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance.


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