The helicopter crew made a daring and unprecedented decision. Knowing that Heaton must be stuck, out of sight and reach, they decided to do the only thing they could do. Fly into the cave. We realized that either the swimmer had to leave the victim or we had to enter the cave . . . or they both would die,” said Burris.
Gibbons meticulously maneuvered the helicopter inside.Wyatt watched the rotors and judged how far they were from the cave walls on the right. Burris watched the left.
Gibbons had the entire body of the helicopter inside the cave with the exception of the left side of the rotor head,” recalled Wyatt. Now, close to thirty feet inside the cave, the flight mechanic quickly dropped the rescue basket. I used the waves entering the cave to carry the basket to him as I let out slack in the hoist cable,” said Wyatt.Heaton grabbed it.
From Chapter 5: To Almost Die”