CAVER Laura Trowbridge, who spent 24 hours trapped in a Gwent cave this week, is vowing to be back caving "as soon as she can".

The 22-year-old is recovering from pelvic injuries after falling in Otter Hole Cave in Chepstow on Tuesday evening.

The accident sparked a massive rescue operation that eventually ended with her being brought to safety at around 4.30pm on Wednesday.

Yesterday, speaking from her hospital bed, Laura paid tribute to her rescuers, describing the teams as "amazing".

The experienced caver, from Taunton, had been on a filming trip for a forthcoming HTV documentary when she slipped on a 5ft climb near the end of the notoriously difficult caving system. She spent ten hours trapped underground before the first rescue team arrived.

"Luckily for me one member of our filming team, Jo, is a cave rescue doctor and six other members of the party, including two first aiders, are members of South Wales or Somerset cave rescue teams," she said.

Laura said her biggest fear during her ordeal was the prospect of having pain-killing injections, saying "I hate needles!

"We spent the next ten hours drinking hot soup, eating Mars bars and reciting all the Monty Python and Black Adder sketches we could remember."

After being placed on a special, flexible rescue stretcher, Laura spent the next 15 hours being passed from caver to caver through the difficult cave passages, including Otter Hole's tidal sump which fills the cavern with water every six hours.

"The rescue team were amazing," said Laura. "Few people realise that on a cave rescue, the only people who go underground are ordinary cavers who volunteer their time, and that includes the four doctors who helped me. None of the professional rescue services were involved until I reached the surface." And the plucky caver has pledged to be back at Otter Hole as soon as possible.

"It hasn't put me off caving at all and I want to get back to Otter Hole as soon as I can.

"I went there to see the best cave formations in the UK and to help film them and I still want to do that.

"We're already planning a return trip to complete the film once I'm better."