Desperate underwater cave rescue underway for missing diver

The missing diver, who was visiting the U.S. from the U.K., is a member of the elite team that rescued 12 boys from a Thai cave last summer.
2:01 | 04/18/19

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Transcript for Desperate underwater cave rescue underway for missing diver
There is a December pras rescue operation under way at this hour for a diver missing after a cave dive in Tennessee. And we learned late today that he is one of the heroes who helped save those boys in that cave in Thailand. Tonight, specialized teams are trying to rescue him, and here's ABC's chief national correspondent Matt Gutman. Reporter: Beneath this pool of water in Tennessee's hill country, tonight, that desperate cave rescue is getting under way for a diver trapped inside. The British diver went missing around 3:00 P.M. Tuesday. His fellow divers spent hours trying to locate him. And they had to dive, back under that tree is the opening of the cave, and it's a very narrow opening. Reporter: By around 1:00 A.M. Today, they gave up, calling 911. There was a group of about five that went in to explore this cave when they came back out, they were missing this one individual. Reporter: ABC news has learned the diver was a member of an elite team that rescued the soccer team from the Thai cave last summer. Fighting powerful currents, they pulled 12 boys and their coach from a spot in the cave two miles in. But officials say this dive is far shorter. A little longer than a football field, but has passages that are just three feet wide, and the water is cold, only 55 degrees. The gentlemen in the cave is wearing a dry suit, so that gives him a great chance that he's just sitting in there waiting for us to come in and get him. Reporter: An air pocket like that could buy the diver and rescuers precious time. We do know that there's sufficient air in that bell to survive for an extended period of time, greater than 24 hours. Let's hope he is in there, waiting to be rescued. Matt Gutman joins us live tonight. We know this is a highly

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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