RACE AGAINST TIME
World Watches Remarkable Rescue Attempt in Thailand
A nearly 3–mile, 6 hourA treacherous underwater escape for children – many of whom don’t know how to swim.
FLIP: what happened
- Who:A 12 Boys (ages 11-16) & 25-year-old soccer coach.
- What: Soccer team went into cave after practice to explore.
- Where: N. Thailand.
- When: June 23; not found for 10 days.
- How: 1,000 volunteers, 13 foreign divers & 5 Thai navy SEALs are doing key, rescue swim.
How To Get Them Out?
- Wearing breathing masks, each boy will be led by 2-3 divers.
- Guide rope & spare oxygen tanks placed along route.
- It’s appx. 1-mile swim from where the boys are to the rescuers’ base; further to cave entrance.
- Ret. Thai Navy SEAL diver died Friday when he ran out of air.
flip: The dangers
So Many Dangers
- Cave:A oxygen levels at 15%.
- Swim:A tight (15 in) & treacherous (shaped like toilet’s U-bend). Many of boys don’t know how to swim.
- Water: Zero visibility. No talking in cave diving, communication through hand signals, but not possible in muddy water.
- Weather:A Rainy season – monsoons expected soon.
- Time: Rescue ops. may take days.
Thai Navy SEALs carried a batch of letters from the group to family outside, filled with assurances and requests for a dinner out for chicken once they are freed. Grab a tissue & read here.
- Thailand cave rescue: 4 boys successfully rescued from cave — live updates
- Why teaching boys trapped in Thai cave to dive may be ‘the most dangerous option’:
- Letters from the boys to their families:
The letters were brought out Friday night by divers who made an arduous 11-hour swim back and forth to a chamber where the boys and their coach have been stranded since June 23. In the letters, the boys are called by their nicknames by their families, and that is how they are now known by the public.
A joint letter from the parents to coach Ekapol Ake Chanthawong: To Coach Ake,Every dad and mom would like to ask Coach Ake to look after everyone. Coach Ake, don”t blame yourself. We want you to be relieved. Every dad and mom isn”t angry with you at all. And everyone understands and encourage you. Thank you for looking after the boys. Coach Ake went inside with them then you must come out, bringing them out safely as well.___Ake”s reply to the parents:To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crews are taking good care. I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible. I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologize to the parents.___Ake”s letter to his own aunt and grandmother:To my aunt and grandmother, I am doing well, please don”t be too worried about me. Take care of yourselves. Aunt. Please tell grandmother to make vegetable dip and pork rind. Once I”m out, I”ll go eat. Love everyone.___A letter to Night, 14, from his parents:To Night,Dad and mom are waiting to set up your birthday party. Quickly make yourself healthy. Mom knows that you can do it. You don”t have to think too much. Dad, Mom, Sister Nam, grandparents and all relatives give you encouragement always. Dad and mom love you.Dad Boon, Mom O___Night”s reply:Night loves Dad and mom and brother, don”t worry about me. Night loves you all.___A letter to Adul, 14, from his parents:To Adul,Dad and mom want to see your face. Dad and mom pray for you and friends so we can see you soon. After coming out of the cave, you must say thank to every officer. We want you to trust in God. Don”t be worried. Dad and mom are waiting until you come out.___Adul”s reply: Right now you don”t have to worry about us. I miss you all, I want to leave quickly. ___ An addendum to coach Ake was included: And for coach Ake, thank you for looking after the boys and led them to stay safely during the time of living in darkness.
by Jenna Lee,