Tag Archives: cave rescue

All thirteen trapped cavers rescued alive!

Miracles happen: Cave divers today successfully rescued the last four boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand.

All 12 members of a Thai youth football team and their coach have been brought safely out of the cave in northern Thailand. The final five members rescued join eight team members taken to hospital on Sunday and Monday and said to be doing well. Each person was pulled through the cave by expert divers. The last Navy Seals – three divers and a doctor – are out of the cave, the rescue chief says.

As I said, this is a miracle. The press is likely going to focus on the kids and their coach, but the real heroes are the cave divers who risked their lives, with one man dying, to save these children.

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Four more boys rescued from cave in Thailand

Link here.

Keep your fingers crossed. What I did not mention yesterday in describing the dangers of cave diving was the truly courageous work of the divers to find these boys. Caving diving is mostly done blind. The first person in can sometimes see, but very quickly the silt reduces visibility to zero. To make sure divers can find their way back, they lay a lifeline as they go.

There had not been a lifeline to the passages where the boys were found, prior to this rescue effort. To have laid out a lifeline in passages almost two-thirds of a mile long, so quickly, speaks volumes for the courage and skills of the cave divers here. It is also why I am not surprised one diver died in the effort.

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Four of thirteen trapped Thai cavers rescued

Divers yesterday have managed to rescue four boys from the Thai soccer team that have been trapped underground by rising cave waters.

The first boy rescued exited the cave 5:40 p.m. local time, followed by three of his team members shortly after, Chiang Rai provincial acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said in a Sunday night news conference. The boys traveled 0.62 miles underwater before they reached safety.

They were taken to the hospital — three by helicopter and one by ambulance — once they were out of the cave.

This is truly a heroic and miraculous rescue effort. The upper levels of the cave the boys are trapped within are likely to eventually fill with water before the rainy season ends in October. None have ever dived before, and this isn’t diving but cave diving, possibly the most dangerous sport anywhere on Earth. In fact, an Apollo astronaut on the Moon is doing something less dangerous.

That they have gotten four boys out so far is good news. We mustn’t count our chickens yet. Traveling two-thirds of a mile underwater in a cave, with likely zero visibility, is not trivial, even with two divers to guide the boy every step of the way. One rescue diver has already died in this effort. The remaining eight boys and soccer coach face a daunting challenge.

One more note: Elon Musk yesterday announced that he is sending some of his engineers to Thailand to help. Some reports indicated he was building a submersible, but I do not think those are right. This article describes how they are helping, and it mostly has to do with helping with the pumping and other ground issues related to Musk’s tunnel boring company.

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There is an ongoing rescue of a caver in one of Europe’s deepest cave.

Breaking: There is an ongoing rescue of a caver in one of Europe’s deepest cave.

A team is trying to rescue a 52-year-old man injured in a rock fall in a 1,000m-deep (3,280ft) cave in Germany, in an operation that could take days. The Riesending cave is Germany’s deepest and it took one of the man’s companions up to 12 hours to return to the surface to raise the alarm. Some 200 people are involved in the operation, near Berchtesgaden in southern Germany. The first rescuers reached the man in the vertical cave on Monday.

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At a cave rescue course

Posting this weekend is light because I am attending a class here in Tucson on cave rescue. Today, Saturday, was a mostly in class session going over the basics, most of which I am very familiar with from many years of experience. We did spend ninety minutes learning how to carry people around in a sked or sled, two different types of equipment used to carry a patient through difficult cave passage. In this case the terrain was simulated by going up, over, under, and around scaffolding and vehicles inside a garage. Lots of fun.

On Sunday we will be doing a mock rescue, whereby we will arrive at a cave entrance where we will have to locate the patient in the cave and get that person out of the cave safely. Should be most interesting.

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