Fort Smith Man Part Of Cave Dive Rescue Team In Tennessee

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — Mike Young of Fort Smith is a husband, father and business owner. He also builds and designs rebreathers for scuba diving.

"We can run this rig for six or eight hours no matter what depth we're at," Young said. "Whereas with conventional scuba, a tank will only last you 30 to 40 minutes or less deepening on how deep you have to go."

Recently, Young along with Ed Sorenson was called in to help rescue British cave diver Josh Bratchley after he got lost in an underwater cave in Tennessee.

Bratchley was in there for more than 24 hours without food or water.

Young says the mission went smoothly.

"What would have been a five or six-hour ordeal ended up only taking 45 minutes or so and it was a very happy outcome. Josh was in great shape," Young said.

When Young isn't working or off rescuing people he likes to help veterans like Josh Hotaling, a double amputee, and Fort Smith resident Michael Dyce by offering free scuba diving instruction.

"He's crazy. I don't think you're going to meet a more down to earth person, I mean humble, very brave to do what he does for the rescue, yes," Dyce said.

Young's wife of 13 years, Sheri, says being married to him is always an adventure.

"I know when he does the rescue things it's kind of last minute and he drops everything, his job, everything, and some people would say why would you do that? But if he was in that situation, we would want someone to drop everything for him," Sheri said.

Their 17-year-old daughter Abby Hope works with her dad at Kiss Rebreathers and said she's proud of him.

"It scares me because you don't know what's going to happen, but I think it's awesome to have that personality that you want to help other people so, I look up to that," Abby Hope said.

Young says diving is like flying, you're weightless and it's that feeling that keeps him going back for more.

"We get to explore. We get to go places that nobody has ever been and sometimes we go places that no one will ever go back," Young said.

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