Wild Boars Rescued

A splendid effort, chaps:

Divers in northern Thailand have rescued all 12 boys and their football coach from flooded caves, 17 days after they got trapped underground.

Contrary to my earlier fears that the coordination of a multi-national rescue operation might be beyond the Thais, they appear to have done a fine job. This is probably because, although the foreign divers are being talked about in the media, there were a lot of Thai divers involved in the rescue as well. Indeed, the last men out of the cave were four Thai navy divers.

As I’ve said before, kudos must be given to the Thai authorities for accepting the foreign help and allowing them to work unimpeded. If this had happened in some parts of Africa, foreign rescue workers would have been slapped with a new and arbitrary $20k charge for an entry visa (I’m quite serious about this). Everyone has come out of this looking good, even the boys’ coach about whom you can read a little here.

So all’s well that ends well, thank goodness, save for the death of Petty Officer Saman Gunan. There’ll be a lot of tired people getting some well-earned rest, and each will have a story to last the rest of their lives. Word is Hollywood is already sniffing around, but I will be extremely disappointed if any such film doesn’t end with the sudden realisation they’ve rescued one more boy than went in. Sadly – for I’d love to say it were mine – I have to credit that idea to Damian Counsell.

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9 thoughts on “Wild Boars Rescued

  1. I saw this comment from a Nigerian about this topic that really made me laugh because of its honesty:

    “You notice each rescued victim was transport in separate ambulance… Nigeria, we load them in pickups –thats if we are able to retrieve their corpses.”

  2. I’d be interested in the results of the enquiry into the death. But the caravan will have moved on since, so we won’t know.
    My guess is that the death was avoidable and self inflicted. Incompetence or overconfidence? It’s possibly both but diving tends to concentrate the mind, so I tend to the view of plain incompetence. The guy was young enough to be still in the service, if he was any good.

  3. Even to someone as proficient as a navy diver, diving in a cave is a whole new dangerous world.Just imagine being wedged – tangled – in a narrow press, with your arms restricted, and your breathing mouthpiece gets nudged as you try to manoeuver free….no free movement of your limbs, no light, no ability to reach and correct, seconds to live. You’d need nerves of steel to face that.
    Now do it for days on end, tired out of your body, with the world’s press watching and 12 young lads’ lives at stake.
    I am extremely impressed how well they all managed it, and I don’t see any cause for overconfidence or carelessness or negligence on the part of the diver or his organisers.
    Just a very brave man doing what he thought was right when time was quite literally running out for them all.

  4. This is my favourite Tweet on the subject from Lincoln&Grant (sorry, don’t know how to link)

    Everywhere you look – schools, TV, pop culture, the media – there is a war on men and masculinity…

    Until some kids get stuck in a cave.

    Then, all of a sudden, we need (and respect) the bravest, strongest, and brightest among us….

  5. @tim the coder
    I too am in awe of the courage and professionalism of the rescuers.
    However, press reports at the time said he ran out of air. There’s a whistling function on pressure reducers (some? all?) to warn you’re low on air. Also he was, I think, wearing full face mask, more fireman style than holidaymaker.
    He was a brave man indeed, but it does not look like there was any failure of operational protocols.

  6. Zut: indeed. Caving is extraordinarily tiring, I can only imagine what that does to the air consumption when crawling and swimming in such conditions breathing from a tank. A lifetime experience of navy diving may have caused an overestimate of time remaining perhaps. I am not a diver. But I did fly. And all the best care, all the best training, all the experience and all the best procedures are as naught, for one little slip up. Then you respond as your training taught you. Sometimes it is enough. And sometimes not.
    A life ended early is always a waste, but all lives end and most without merit. This man at least is worthy of remembering. How many can aspire to as much?
    Fay: nice quote, but real people always have. Only the MSM forget, or pretend to, when they can. Perhaps as you suggest, this will help expose the MSM bias & hypocrisy. And when the full story is published, I doubt all the heroes will be men. This rescue was huge.

  7. And when the full story is published, I doubt all the heroes will be men. This rescue was huge.

    Yeah, a lot of women were involved feeding the men and cleaning their clothes, to name just two tasks. The feminists won’t like this role, but it’s an extremely important one and I’m sure all the people involved in the actual rescue were very grateful for their presence.

  8. A fantastic result and a hearty congratulations to the brave rescuers, outstanding performance indeed.

  9. My favourite exchange under the Damian Counsell tweet:
    “Who will Matt Damon play?”
    “The compressed air tank.”

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