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.