Trapped miner Samuel Avalos waves as he emerges from the "Phoenix" rescue capsule after reaching the surface to become the 22nd to be rescued from the San Jose mine in Copiapo.

Some of the Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days last year smoked cannabis smuggled to them by their families, a new book claims.

But the drug, hidden in letters dropped down the communications shaft, “created more tension than it relieved”.

The trouble was caused because there was not enough to go around.

One miner, Samuel Avalos, suspected his colleagues were sneaking off to smoke cannabis and complained that they never offered him any.

New York Times journalist Jonathan Franklin’s book, 33 Men, also reveals how another source of potential conflict was avoided when rescuers, acting on a doctor’s advice, rejected a donation of ten inflatable sex dolls for the men.

It was thought they could end up arguing over them unless there was one for every man.

For the first two weeks of the men’s ordeal in the San Jose gold and copper mine in northern Chile’s Atacama desert, though, their need for food came first.

Mr Franklin, who gained special access to the rescue operation, writes that before the communications shaft reached them, they were down to a spoonful of tuna each every three days.

Expecting to die, they wrote farewell letters to their families and held hands to pray - in vain - for their last two cans of tuna to be duplicated.

The men, who were rescued last October, had also spoken about the Uruguayans who survived a plane crash in the Andes in 1972 by eating the dead among them. - Daily Mail