Thailand Cave Search Turns to How to Rescue Trapped Group
THAM LUANG CAVE, Thailand &mdash The British diver John Volanthen was placing guide lines to try to get closer to 12 missing boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave network when he ran out of line himself, forcing him to the water&rsquos surface.
There they had been, all 13, staring at him through the light of his headlamp. After 10 days of efforts racing against monsoon rains and rising water in the cave, the search for the missing soccer group had lastly succeeded.
If his line had been even 15 feet shorter, he would have turned back and not reached them on that dive Monday evening. The group would have spent at least an additional night on its own in the pitch black, not knowing if a rescue would ever come.
&ldquoLiterally, he completed his line, stuck the line reel in the mud, and they had been searching down,&rdquo Vernon Unsworth, his friend and fellow cave explorer, stated Tuesday.
With the search officially turning to a rescue operation on Tuesday, the principal query now has been the ideal way, and the best time, to get the boys and their coach out of the cave.
Capt. Anand Surawan of the Thai Navy raised the possibility that, under the worst-case scenario, the 13 would be in the cave for 4 months until the finish of the rainy season.
&ldquoI was shocked myself,&rdquo mentioned Supanat Danansilakura, chief of public relations for the Royal Thai Navy. &ldquoFour months?&rdquo
[Study about the history of cave rescues and five missions that worked]
Other folks argued that it would be difficult on the boys and harmful to leave them in the cave for so lengthy, even if they had light, meals and other supplies. They could be injured or risk infection and be harmed psychologically by a prolonged keep in such an environment.
The truth that officials and relatives of the boys had been in a position to even go over the greatest way to extract them is itself exceptional.
The boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach disappeared into Tham Luang Cave on June 23 after a Saturday soccer practice. Heavy rain then started to fall, and water rose in the cave complicated, blocking their exit.
&ldquoWhen we first discussed this mission, we said right away this mission is impossible,&rdquo mentioned the governor of Chiang Rai Province, Narongsak Osottanakorn, who is overseeing the search and rescue operation. &ldquoIn English, it will be mission impossible, like the movie. But the SEALs have been quite confident in their ability, and they told us they would bring the boys out.&rdquo
The Thai government mounted a huge rescue operation and sent scores of divers into the cave to attempt to attain the area where the boys have been believed to be. A top official mentioned they would spare no expense.
A nation that frequently appears divided amongst the rural poor and the urban elite identified itself united by the hope of finding the missing boys. King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun took a individual interest in the search, sending kitchen trucks to feed the search crews and raincoats to shield them from the downpour.
Half a dozen nations sent teams to assist, including the United States, whose group of 30 incorporated 17 Air Force search-and-rescue specialists.
Relatives of the missing spent much of the ten days of the search waiting for news in plastic chairs under a temporary awning near the operation&rsquos command center.
They jumped and shouted with glee on Monday evening when they heard that the group had been located. By then, Thai officials had moved the relatives indoors to a private region, and the throng of journalists covering the search have mainly been kept from speaking to them.
Tham Luang Cave has been a daunting challenge. The seven-mile-lengthy cave technique is easy adequate to hike and climb by way of throughout the dry season. But in the rainy season &mdash in theory from July to November &mdash the complicated can fill with water, submerging several of its passageways.
Divers finally had a breakthrough, literally, when they chipped away at rocks and enlarged a passageway that had been also tiny to pass by way of although wearing an air tank.
As soon as they had developed a huge adequate opening, they were able to push on to where they suspected the group was, roughly three miles from the cave entrance.
Mr. Volanthen and Rick Stanton, each civilian British divers, happened to be in the lead Monday night, laying the guide ropes that divers can use to pass through the murky or turbulent water.
It was when Mr. Volanthen ran out of line and surfaced that he saw the group of scrawny boys, some sitting, some standing, on a shelf above the water line.
He was relieved to discover all of them alive. The boys have been excited about the prospect of food.
&ldquoEat, consume, consume,&rdquo one of the boys called out.
The two divers set up a pair of dive lights to illuminate the cave, no doubt the first light the group had seen in days.
It was the first of several deliveries of needed supplies, such as meals and medicine, over the next 24 hours.
&ldquoAt the starting, we had only hearts and manpower,&rdquo the governor said. &ldquoLately we have all the resources. Even although we are tired and weary, we are completely equipped.&rdquo
Health-related teams were giving the group higher-protein meals to support them regain their strength. And they have been assessing how soon the trapped group would be in shape to move out of the cave.
Mr. Unsworth, a caver from Britain who lives nearby and has been exploring Tham Luang Cave for far more than six years, stated it would be far greater for the boys to be taken out instantly by skilled cave divers than to be forced to wait for months.
&ldquoIt is just the logistical point of how to get them out, because they have never dived just before,&rdquo he stated. &ldquoThey will have to understand really swiftly, like in the subsequent couple of hours. If not these days, it could be tomorrow.&rdquo
He said the boys could use complete face masks so they would not have to learn how to breathe via a demand valve, which most divers use.
Thai Navy SEAL divers and other seasoned cave divers participating in the rescue need to be able to take them safely through the cave technique&rsquos flooded passageways, he said.
Leaving them underground until the finish of the rainy season, he stated, &ldquois not an option.&rdquo
Published at Tue, 03 Jul 2018 15:12:35 +0000