German Speleologist Johann Westhauser Rescued From Riesending Cave
Rescue teams at work near the entrance of the Riesending cave where speleologist Johann Westhauser was trapped.Reuters

An injured cave explorer saw daylight again after 11 days stuck underground, as rescue teams managed to carry him back to the entrance of Germany's deepest cave system.

Bavarian mountain rescue service said the international effort to bring 52-year-old Johann Westhauser up to the surface from 1,000 metres below ground was successfully completed at 11.44 am local time.

Mountain Rescue spokesman Roland Ampenberger said Westhauser was being examined by doctors.

A medical station had been set up at the mouth of the Riesending, a 19.2 km underground labyrinth of vertical shafts and bottlenecks, near the city of Berchtesgaden on the Bavarian Alps, after the cave expert was hit by falling rocks on June, 8.

Westhauser suffered severe injuries to the head and torso which prevented him from climbing back and remained stuck around 6,000 meters (3.75 miles) from the cave entrance at nearly 1,000 metres of depth.

One of his two companions remained with him, while it took 12 hours for the other to return to the surface and alert authorities.

A marathon rescue effort was launched to recover the expert speleologist who was part of the team of researchers who first explored the cave in 2002.

Rescuers said the cave was particularly difficult to penetrate as it featured spots where only a slim person could squeeze through.

They also had to contend with water and chilling temperatures that can drop to around 3 degrees Celsius.

Working in small teams of up to four people, rescuers set up five camps inside the cave system and slowly started to bring up the wounded speleologist up in stages.

The last leg was covered pulling Westhauser up a 180-metre high vertical wall. Westhauser is expected to be airlifted to hospital.

German spelunker  Cave rescued
Injured spelunker Johann Westhauser is sees as he is transported with ropes by rescue workers towards the surface of the Riesending cave.Bergwacht Bayern/Getty Images