|Todd Russell rejoices after being rescued after 14 days in a gold mine in Beaconsfield, Australia, in 2006.|
Australia - As the two Australian miners lay trapped in a space less than 5 feet square and 3,000 feet below the surface, they discovered common ground in American country singer Kenny Rogers. "I'm more rock and roll, he's more country, but we both knew 'The Gambler,' by Kenny Rogers," Brant Webb said of Todd Russell, who spent 14 days trapped with Webb in the Beaconsfield gold mine in northern Tasmania in 2006.
The two sang to pass the time, shared their life stories and told jokes after a 2.2-magnitude earthquake triggered an underground rock fall, trapping them in darkness. They could not sit or stand. They were so cramped, one had to lie on his side if the other lay on his back.
Five days into their captivity, rescuers located them and established a phone line. The men were kept abreast of rescue efforts and were given counseling throughout the ordeal. Rescuers also passed them food, water and iPods. But it would take another nine days for them to be extricated from the dank hole that Webb, at times, thought might become his grave.
He never let the idea knock around his mind for too long, choosing to cling to hope that he would live to see his wife and two children.