Man fights off rattlesnakes while trapped in mine shaft for two days

A man has had to fight off rattlesnakes and survive two days trapped at the bottom of a mine shaft with two broken legs.

On Monday, the gold miner fell more than 30 metres before his next door neighbour managed to track him down.

John Waddell, 62, was screaming in pain – but alive.

Mr Waddell had been looking for desert gold when his nightmare began.

John Waddell (left) fell down a mine shaft in Arizona and it took rescuers six hours to get him out. Source: 7 News

He had gone to an abandoned mine near Aguila, in the Arizona desert, before accidentally falling down the shaft.

“Since he didn’t come home yesterday, I was determined to come out here today,” his neighbour Terry Schrader said.

The neighbours and friends had a pact that if he wasn’t home by Tuesday, Mr Schrader would go looking for him.

“Just as I pulled out my truck I could hear him hollering, ‘help! help!’,” Mr Schrader said.

Terry Schrader heard his neighbour’s screams for help after going looking for him. Source: 7 News
Mr Waddell had gone looking for gold when he fell 30 metres down this mine shaft in Arizona. Source: 7 News

Mr Waddell had broken both of his legs and had spent two days fending off snakes without food or water.

Without phone reception, all he could do was scream for help.

Once Mr Schrader heard his cries, he drove out of the desert, into an area where he could get reception, and rang 911 for help.

It took six hours for rescuers to get Mr Waddell out of the mine shaft.

He was then taken to hospital and treated for broken bones and dehydration.

But his neighbour said he doesn’t consider himself a hero for coming to the rescue – rather, he was just doing what mates do.

The 62-year-old was taken to hospital after his rescue and treated for broken bones and dehydration. Source: 7 News