This Tuesday, the daunting task of whisking out the young boys straddled in the Thailand cave by a team of 19 divers saw its successful end. The youngest of the group (aged just 11) was one of the last to be rescued. The coach has also presumably reached the surface but the doctor and 4 Thai Navy SEALs are yet to come out of the cave. However, the SEALs posted a message on Facebook saying: “Tonight, all the Wild Boars will be reunited.” As per reports, 4 boys emerged on Sunday and 4 made out of the cave on Monday.
As per Amanda Hodge (from The Australian), the Adelaide anesthetist Richard Harris has had a key role in the rescue, making it each day to the spot where the boys were trapped to check their on their health before bringing them out.
He only leaves the cave when the last boy is rescued each day. – Amanda Hodge
This rescue mission was touted impossible by many as the 12 schoolboys (members of the Wild Boars soccer team) went out for an adventure trip into the caves as part of a ‘rites of passage’ and got trapped in the cave with its tricky landscape including slippery rocks and cliffs with stark drop-offs shrouded in darkness. Adding to this, their chances of escape became increasingly difficult due to the rain that flooded the tunnels and caves. Caught 4 km underground in the Tham Luang Nang Non-cave system, diving their way out into the open was indeed a tough nut to crack, with the children wondering if they will be found out of the dark, dank cave surroundings.
However, the children won over loneliness and cold and not knowing how to dive and emerged out of the cave, unscathed. With the rains coming in, the situation of the trapped children took a turn for the worse but eventually the team of divers took the risky decision to lead the boys who did not know how to dive, cushioning them with protective gears such as full face masks. The ‘labyrinth’ of a landscape of the cave with the first long section where the boys were trapped was the trickiest space to negotiate, diving and crawling through mud and debris.
Reflecting on the tough encounter, a 25-year old Third Navy SEAL gave the statement: “The hole is really small, I have to take off my air tank to crawl through it. “As I do, I feel the edges of the hole on both my back and chest.”
Continuing on, the most difficult part of the dive out was called the “choke point” where the divers and their charge had to head beneath the water and rise through the narrow halls, making the children having to swim alone.
As per reports, the 8 previously rescued boys are in quite sound health at a hospital in Chiang Rai, though the condition of the 4 boys rescued on Tuesday remains unspecified.
But all in all, barring the 3 Thail navy SEALS and a doctor who was a part of the rescue operation who still need to get out safely, the operation that mostly seemed an impossible task has hit the bull’s eye by rescuing all the young boys.
In unison with the onlookers on the street who cheered and clapped at the ambulances that brought in the boys at the hospital in Chiang Rai city, we wish them all a speedy recovery and that the SEALS and doctors be safely whisked out too at the earliest.
Given that the way the rescue operation turned out is indeed extraordinary, this statement by the SEALs (alluding to the name of the boys’ soccer team) perfectly echoes what the people around the globe might be thinking of this feat : “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what.”