'I just felt stupid:' Teen describes getting stuck in 30-foot well

Volusia County Fire Rescue officials pull Hunter Gurney to safety

DeLEON SPRINGS, Fla. – A man was rescued early Wednesday after he climbed down a 30-foot well in Volusia County and couldn't get out, officials said.

The incident occurred in a wooded area off Grand Avenue south of DeLeon Springs. Three men, ages 18, 19 and 20 had mowed the lawn on the property previously and told Volusia County deputies they planned to return and climb into the well "for bragging rights," according to the incident report.

Hunter Gurney, 18, become stuck at the bottom of the well and his friends tried to pull him out with a rope tied to an SUV, according to the report.

The victim said the rescue took about two hours. He said his friends first tried to rescue him with their truck.

"My feet slipped and fell. And we tried it again and the rope broke," said Gurney.

Gurney told News 6 he'll think twice next time before being so adventurous. He said they wanted to check out the well in their neighbor's yard because it's something they've never seen before.

"I just felt stupid," said Gurney. "I made a bad decision and I paid the price for it."

His friends called 911 after being unable to free the 18-year-old from the well.

"You're going to get out, don't worry," one of the men can be heard telling their friend on the 911 call. "He just said he wants to get "The F out of the hole,'" the 911 caller said of the man stuck in the well. "He's a little distressed."

Gurney said he’s lucky things weren’t worse.

"My fingers, they are a little torn up on both my feet, and my elbow and my back," said Gurney.

A fire rescue technical team used ropes to reach the man, who was stuck in the well for about an hour.

"The person said he just wanted to go down to say he did it and, unfortunately, he didn't have the strength to get out of it." Volusia County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Scott Smoak said.

The man suffered scrapes and scratches and was checked out by paramedics at the scene.

"Thanks to a group effort with Volusia Fire, he was pulled out to safety," the Sheriff's Office said.

"We are in Halloween and people do crazy things, pranks and all that kind of stuff," Smoak said.

Smoak said there are other wells in the area that need to be covered and properly sealed.

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