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Why the Thailand Cave Rescue was So Difficult: A Diver Explains

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by MULTIZ321, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Why the Thailand Cave Rescue was So Difficult: A Diver Explains
    By John Ismay/ World/ Asia Pacific/ The New York Times/ nytimes.com

    "Rescue operations reached a successful climax at the Tham Luang Cave complex in northern Thailand on Tuesday, where divers pulled the last trapped members of the Wild Boars soccer team to safety. Twelve young team members and their coach had been trapped in the flooded cave complex in Chiang Rai Province since June 23.

    Narrow passageways, near-zero visibility and the constant threat of a monsoon made the rescue operation incredibly difficult. Saman Gunan, 38, a former member of the Thai Navy SEALs, died after he lost consciousness while placing spare air tanks along the route to the cavern where the boys are trapped.

    How does one guide a dozen children through miles of subterranean passageways, including lengthy underwater channels, largely in the dark, when many of them can’t swim? John Ismay, a New York Times reporter who served as a diving officer in the United States Navy from 2003 to 2010 and was qualified in deep-sea diving and salvage operations, explains how a rescue mission could be pulled off...."

    [​IMG]
    Thai rescue teams arranging a water-pumping system at the entrance to a flooded cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped in Chiang Rai, Thailand.CreditRoyal Thai Navy, via Associated Press



    Richard
     
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  2. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Thai Town Rallies Behind Ake, Coach Who Took Boys Into Cave
    By Steve George, CNN/ Asia/ cnn.com

    "Mae Sai, Thailand (CNN)He was likely the first one into the cave and on Tuesday was the last one pulled out.

    Ekkapol Ake Chantawong, the 25-year-old coach of the Wild Boars soccer team, has been criticized by some for what is perceived to be an act of supreme recklessness.

    Why did he, the adult tasked with taking care of 12 young children, decide to lead the group into a dangerous, forbidden network of underground tunnels, known to flood at this time of year?
    To those who know the former monk and community worker, the willingness of others to judge from afar has led to a characterization they say is unfair and inaccurate.

    Thamma Kantawong is one of only two living relatives of Coach Ake, as he is popularly known around town. The other is his elderly grandmother.

    Though Kantawong is Ake's cousin, she says she thinks of him more as a young nephew, owing to the age gap between the two family members. She refers to herself as his aunt.
    From inside her modest home in Mae Sai, Kantawong recounts Ake's traumatic childhood and the death of his parents.
    "His mother died while he was still very, very young and his father passed away when he was just 10," she says. His brother, his only sibling, also died very young, says Kantawong, showing us an old family picture of Ake with his parents and brother.

    As a result, Ake, like many orphaned children in Thailand, moved away from his childhood home of Mae Sai to become a Buddhist monk at a monastery in the nearby province of Lum Phun.
    He remained in the care of the monastery for much of the next decade, only coming back to his hometown on occasion to see his grandmother. It was a very tough period for such a young boy to endure, says Kantawong, who did not see him very often during this time.

    Ake would eventually return to his Mae Sai in his 20s man looking to rebuild his life. Though no longer a monk, he has maintained close ties with the town's numerous temples, where friends say he regularly spends his time praying and assisting in renovations.
    Kantawong credits her nephew's devout faith for his willingness to help others, pointing out that he did not eat for the first few days in the cave, and instead shared his food among the children.

    [​IMG]
    The Wild Boars soccer team in a photo taken during a previous outing into the hills.


    Richard
     
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  3. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Thailand Rescue Officials Say Elon Musk's Submarine Was 'Not Practical'
    By Jennifer Calfas/ World/ Thailand/ Time/ time.com

    "Elon Musk’s “kid-sized submarine” was ultimately “not practical” for helping rescuers save a group of boys and their soccer coach stuck in a Thailand cave, the head of the rescue operation said.

    “The equipment they brought to help us is not practical with our mission,” Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osotthanakorn, the head of the rescue efforts, said of the billionaire’s technology, according to BBC. “Even though their equipment is technologically sophisticated, it doesn’t fit with our mission to go in the cave.”

    Rescuers said Tuesday they have saved all 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave last month after monsoon rains flooded their escape routes. The first boys rescued in what’s been a days-long process were in “high spirits” and generally appeared “healthy,” according to the Associated Press. One diver, a retired Thai Navy SEAL named Saman Kunan, died in the rescue effort last week.

    Musk, the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Inc., vowed to help rescue efforts by designing a mini-submarine that could navigate through the cave’s tight canals. Musk appeared to deliver the submarine to the rescuers in Thailand, tweeting that he would leave it “here in case it may be useful in the future,” adding, “Thailand is so beautiful.”...."

    Richard
     
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  4. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Elon Musk Defends Mini Submarine Left Unused in Thai Cave Rescue
    By Emily McCormick and Sarah McBride/ News/ Technology/ Bloomberg/ bloomberg.com

    "Elon Musk’s efforts to aid in the rescue of 13 people trapped in a Thai cave were ultimately unneeded, but the billionaire is confident his “kid-size submarine” could be used at some point in the future.

    The remaining boys and their soccer coach were saved from the Tham Luang Cave by divers and volunteers on Tuesday. Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn, one of the leaders of the rescue mission, said Musk’s equipment was “technologically sophisticated” but “not practical,” according to the BBC. “It doesn’t fit with our mission to go in the cave,” Osotthanakorn said.

    Musk took umbrage at the comment and defended the project on Twitter. He said engineers from his rocket company, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., who built the submarine, said they were “absolutely certain” the underwater vehicle could complete the entire journey after discussions with divers and “extensive cave video review.” Musk posted an image of an email exchange with Richard Stanton, a British diver on site, who encouraged him to keep developing the capsule. Musk also disputed the BBC’s characterization of Osotthanakorn as a “rescue chief.”

    Musk, working with teams from SpaceX, toiled through the weekend at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, to design, build and test an aluminum rescue pod -- continuing the effort well after the first set of boys were rescued on the other side of the world. The pod measures approximately 66 inches by 16 inches. The leak-proof pod sported a nose cone on its front to guard against the impact of rocks and can withstand water pressure from the flooded cave system, Musk said.

    Videos of tests conducted in the swimming pool of Palisades Charter High School, about 20 miles from SpaceX headquarters, showed divers towing the pod through the water, lifting it out and depressurizing it. An engineer who had been riding inside then emerged from the tight space. He appeared to have just enough room to fit while lying down with his arms folded over his chest......"

    [​IMG]


    Richard
     
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  5. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    British Divers Who Found Trapped Thai Cave Boys Should Get George Cross, says Lord Ashcroft
    By Press Association/ News/ The Telegraph/ telegraph.co.uk

    "There are calls for the British divers who helped rescue 12 schoolboys and their football coach from a flooded Thai cave to be honoured.

    Rick Stanton and John Volanthen were the first divers to reach the group nine days after they went missing in the underground network in northern Thailand.

    The pair, along with a number of other British elite divers had flown to the region to assist at the request of Thai authorities.

    On Tuesday the last of the Wild Boars football team were brought safely to the surface and taken to hospital.

    The British rescuers were said to be "all alright" and resting after the gruelling operation.

    Writing on Twitter, former Conservative Party treasurer Lord Ashcroft suggested Mr Stanton and Mr Volanthen could be awarded the George Cross or George Medal for their bravery.

    The George Cross is the highest civilian honour in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth...."

    [​IMG]
    Two British volunteer divers found the boys in the cave after a nine-day search, and worked on the rescue with the Royal Thai Navy as well as other volunteers from the UK, US, Australia and China Credit: UPI/Barcroft Images


    Richard
     
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  6. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Video: Thai Boys Didn't Swim Out of the Cave; They Were Rescued on Stretchers
    By Radhika Viswanathan/ Vox/ vox.com

    "New information suggests the 12 Thai boys trapped in a cave were medicated and carried out on stretchers during the rescue operation.

    Now that the 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach are safely out of the cave where they were trapped for just over two weeks, we’re learning more details on how the rescue mission was carried out.

    Up until Wednesday, Vox — and other news outlets — were reporting that the boys swam out of the cave, accompanied by professional divers. Over the weekend, rescue officials had been telling reporters that divers were teaching the boys to swim and to use diving equipment.

    But on Wednesday afternoon, a day after the mission was completed, the Thai Navy SEALs posted a video to Facebook that suggests the boys did not swim, but instead were fitted with dive masks, and put on stretchers that were guided through the passageways by the divers:...."

    [​IMG]


    Richard

     
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  7. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Thai Cave Rescue: Water Pumps Failed Just After Last Boy Escaped
    By Michael Safi/ Thailand Cave Rescue/ News/ The Guardian/ the guardian.com

    "The rescue operation to free the last of the 12 boys and their football coach from a Thailand cave could have been a disaster, divers have revealed, with water pumps draining the area failing just hours after the last boy had been evacuated.

    Divers and rescue workers were still more than 1.5km inside the cave clearing up equipment when the main pump failed, leading water levels to rapidly increase, three Australian divers involved in the operation told the Guardian on Wednesday, in the first detailed account of the mission to be published.

    The trio, stationed at “chamber three”, a base inside the cave, said they heard screaming and saw a rush of head torches from deeper inside the tunnel as workers scrambled to reach dry ground.

    “The screams started coming because the main pumps failed and the water started rising,” said one of the divers, speaking anonymously because he is not authorised to comment.

    “All these headlights start coming over the hill and the water was coming ... It was noticeably rising.”....."

    [​IMG]
    Erik Brown, Mikko Paasi and Claus Rasmussen (left to right), divers involved in rescuing the last group of boys trapped in the cave. Photograph: Facebook/ Mikko Paasi


    Richard
     
  8. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Thanks God everyone is safe. There are so many unsung heroes in this incident.
     
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  9. bluehende

    bluehende TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Every once in a while you have a story that resonates with everyone. This one qualifies in every sense of the word. I have done a little caving and I tell you I doubt my survival in this situation. How nice was it that something in the news can be celebrated by all?
     
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  10. clifffaith

    clifffaith TUG Member

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    As someone who dreads her next MRI (I was on the verge of losing it last time and won't do one again without a mild sedative), and as someone who could likely drown in a swimming pool because it has been over 50 years since I've swum, you'd have to knock me out or kill me there and leave me.

    Truly a miraculous rescue. I hope someone like Sebastian Junger writes a minute by minute book.
     
  11. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Meet the Heroes of the Daring Rescue Mission That Brought 13 Thai Soccer Players to Safety
    By Rosie Perper/ Business Insider/ businessinsider.com

    "Thousands of people from around the world gathered in Thailand over the last several weeks to help rescue the Thai soccer team trapped inside a cave.

    The boys were discovered in the cave after surviving for 10-days with little food and no shelter, and required a delicate and methodical plan to get them out of the cave safely.

    Local military, police, and the Thai Navy SEALs worked alongside thousands of local and international volunteers, divers, doctors, and experts to aid in the urgent rescue mission.

    The boys and their 25-year-old coach were finally extracted after a three-day event, which included pumping out massive amounts of water from the cave's chambers, strategically placing air tanks along a 2.5-mile long passageway, and tightly wrapping the boys so they could be guided out of the cave by tireless divers.

    Thai Navy SEALS celebrated the successful mission on their Facebook page, calling the rescue nothing short of miraculous.

    Here are the heroes who made the mission possible....."

    [​IMG]
    The heroes of the Thai cave rescue performed nothing short of a miracle.
    Linh Pham/Getty Images


    Richard
     
  12. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Thai Soccer Players Crave Food, Wait to Go Home Next Week
    By Johnson Lai/ AP News/ apnews.com

    "CHIANG RAI, Thailand (AP) — The 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand are recovering well and are eager to eat their favorite comfort foods after their expected discharge from a hospital next week.

    In video messages of the boys shown at a news conference on Saturday, they are seen wearing surgical masks, a safeguard against infection that’s been taken since the last of them were pulled from the Tham Luang cave on Tuesday, ending an 18-day ordeal. Doctors said that Friday, when the videos were recorded, would be the last day they’d have to wear them.

    Public Health Minister Dr. Piyasakol Sakolsattayatorn, who led the news conference at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, said all 13 — the dozen boys, who range in age from 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach — were expected to be discharged from the hospital on Thursday.

    “All of the 13 people, their physical bodies are strong, and fit. Regarding infections, through the medical evaluations in the first days there may be some of them that had minor pneumonia, but now all is cleared, no fever,” Piyasakol said. Several were also reported earlier to be recovering from minor lung and middle ear infections.

    Most of the boys, who were shown in their hospital beds, looked relaxed, and began their brief statements with a “wai,” the traditional Thai greeting of hands raised to chest level with palms together....."

    [​IMG]


    Richard
     
  13. bbodb1

    bbodb1 TUG Member

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    While I agree with that sentiment, at some point are there going to be repercussions for the coach or whoever decided to undertake such a dangerous hike with such an ill prepared party?
    The decision to enter this cave was beyond stupid and needlessly placed a lot of people in harm's way.
    Also, a volunteer rescuer needlessly died and while I hope all those who helped in the rescue efforts are fully and properly lauded, this is a situation that NEVER should have occurred.
     
  14. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Boys Meant to Stay 1 Hour in Cave, But Outside, Rains Began
    By Johnson Lai and Jason Corben/ AP/ Asia & Pacific/ World/ The Washington Post/ washingtonpost.com

    CHIANG RAI, Thailand — The boys meant to explore the cave for just an hour, a casual jaunt to relax after soccer practice, but the waters rose. The teammates climbed higher, using their hands to feel the walls for a crawl space that would lead to safer, higher ground. Those handprints were among the first signs of where the boys were, what they had done to escape the floods, and what dangers rescuers would face in their mission to save the boys and their coach.

    The boys now recuperating and the rescuers who brought them to safety are starting to share stories of the dangers and their survival. The hospital in northern Thailand where the 12 boys and their soccer coach are quarantined said Friday they are basically healthy, aside from some minor infections. A psychiatrist said their mental state seems fine.

    Family members, first able to reunite with them only through a glass window, now can meet face-to-face though still not touch, to ensure any illnesses don’t spread.

    Banphot Konkum, father of 13-year-old Duangpetch Promthep, told The Associated Press his son — better known by his nickname, Dom — said the team members didn’t know rain had started falling after they had entered the cave on June 23. But the rain caused flooding in the cave, blocking them from exiting.

    “After an hour when they wanted to leave, the water level was rising. They ran further inside the cave to escape from the water. The water flow was strong,” said Banphot.

    In their search for a safe haven, the boys were reported to have used their hands to feel the walls for an opening to take them to a higher, safer spot. Searchers later found what they thought were the boys’ handprints, giving them confidence the boys were alive and that the searchers were on the right path....."

    [​IMG]
    Banphot Konkum, father of Duangpetch Promthep, shows his son’s soccer jersey during an interview at their home in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Friday, July 13, 2018. Banphot told The Associated Press his son, better known by his nickname, Dom, said that after the team members began their casual trek into the cave on June 23, they had no idea it had begun raining outside. But the rain caused flooding in the cave, blocking them from exiting. (Vincent Thian/Associated Press)


    Richard
     
  15. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Thailand Boys Freed From Cave Mourn, Honor Diver Who Died in Rescue Mission
    By Lucia I. Suarez Sang/ Fox News/ World/ Disaster Response/ foxnews.com

    "The twelve boys who were rescued from a Thailand cave paid tribute on Sunday to the Navy SEAL who died during rescue mission that attracted international attention.

    The teenage boys, aged 11 to 16, are recovering at a local hospital after spending 18 days stranded in Tham Luang cave after monsoon rains flooded the cave’s entrance.

    Wiping away tears, the boys wrote messages of thanks on a portrait of former Navy SEAL and volunteer diver Saman Kunan, who died July 6, while installing oxygen tanks along the passageways of the cave.

    “All cried and expressed their condolences by writing messages on a drawing of Lieutenant Commander Saman and observed one minute of silence for him,” the Thailand health ministry said in a statement, adding that the boys were only told about Saman’s death until a medical team determined they were mentally strong to handle the news.

    “They also thanked him and promised to be good boys,” the statement added, Sky News reported.

    Saman, 38, was a volunteer who had been engaged in the important mission of helping replace oxygen canisters along the route to where the boys were sheltering to make the hours-long passage possible...."

    [​IMG]
    Some of the rescued soccer team members bowing their heads respectfully in front of a sketch of the Thai Navy SEAL diver who died while trying to rescue them. (Thailand's Ministry of Health and the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital via AP)

    [​IMG]
    The sole fatality of the rescue operation, former Thai navy SEAL Petty Officer Saman Gunan. (Thailand Navy Seals)



    Richard
     
  16. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Why the Thai Cave Rescue Drew So Much Attention Compared to Other Crises
    By Malaka Gharib/ Youth/ Goats and Soda: Stories of Life in a Changing World/ National Public Radio/ NPR/ npr.org

    "Like millions of global citizens, Abraham Leno has been riveted by the story of the 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Thailand.

    "I sat around the radio with my family and we wanted to hear the recent updates of the kids, every little detail," he says. "To see all the governments sending their best divers, giving them equipment, offering their moral support — it was a beautiful thing to see."

    But Leno has another perspective. As a youth, he spent ten years in refugee camps in Guinea. Now working at the American Refugee Committee, he wishes that the media had paid more attention to his plight and his fellow refugees: "It would have shed a better light to create the understanding necessary to help us."

    Others share his concerns. Manyang Reath Kher became a Lost Boy at age 3 and later founded the charity Humanity Helping Sudan. He says, "I don't want to sound horrible to those kids [in the cave], but the attention they got, it should be spread around. Give that to other children, too."

    The aid community is grappling with that issue as well. While they all stress that they were deeply moved by the story of the boys in Thailand, they raise a point: Can the world bring the same level of care and resources to other children living in crisis? More than half a million Rohingya children live in camps in Bangladesh, for example, and 800 children die of malaria each day.

    There are, of course, reasons why the cave story is so riveting.

    "This is a human story. There's a clear drama," says Brian Klaas, a fellow of comparative politics at the London School of Economics. "Everybody is rooting for them."

    Other life-and-death situations do not resonate in the same way, says Klaas....."

    [​IMG]
    Rohingya children carrying firewood into the Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh. Refugees have stripped almost all the area vegetation to use in cooking fires.

    Allison Joyce for NPR


    Richard
     
  17. AnnaS

    AnnaS TUG Member

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    RIP Saman Gunan.

    Glad everyone made it our safe. Can't even imagine.
     

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