Skip to comments.Thai soccer players trapped in cave write letters, tell parents not to worry
Posted on 07/07/2018 1:46:35 PM PDT by BBell
The adolescent soccer players trapped for two weeks in a partially flooded cave in northern Thailand don't want their parents to worry. And they also wouldn't mind having some fried chicken ready for when they get home.
That's what's on the minds of the 12 boys, ages 11-16, according to handwritten notes they sent out with divers who made an 11-hour, back-and-forth journey to act as postmen.
The boys and their 25-year-old coach have been trapped since June 23, when they went exploring in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave after a practice game. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days.
The only way to reach them was by navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents, as well as oxygen-depleted air.
Getting out via the same route looks like the only feasible option, but a high-risk one, Thai officials say. Experienced cave rescue experts consider an underwater escape a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving, as the boys are.
The path out is considered especially complicated because of twists and turns in narrow flooded passages.
The local governor supervising the rescue mission said Saturday that mild weather and falling water levels over the past few days had created appropriate conditions for an underwater evacuation, but that they won't last if it rains again.
Thai officials are stressing that they may have to act very soon meaning the next couple of days if weather forecasts are correct because of the possibility that access to the cave could soon close again due to flooding from seasonal monsoon rains. Earlier efforts to pump out water from the cave have been set back every time there has been a heavy downpour.
(Excerpt) Read more at mprnews.org ...
The coach that led them in sent out a preemptive apology to the parents. I'm sure he wants to prevent a lynch mob forming at the entrance.
Beginning to have a bad feeling about this....
Give them all ‘small’ air tanks and a long long rope with each one attached and start pulling??
Their biggest threat/worry is more rainfall.
Their actions caused a man to die.
PS: Our coach is an idiot.
I would say the coaches actions. I would not blame the kids.
The trip is 5 hours one way in or out. A small tank and rope are not a sufficient response. They must be trained and will be forced to travel through some tiny channels alone.
I just read this on our local news site
Elon Musks Team Stopped at Humboldt County Airport to Collect Rescue Pods From Local Inflatables Company On Their Way to Thailand Cave Rescue
I still kind of like my crazy idea. Elon Musk is sending a team. Maybe they can pull it off.
As for the narrow section, maybe let Musk’s Boring Company swim down a jackhammer to widen it out.
I haven’t yet seen anything about whether this is basically standing pooled water, or is a genuine underground creek.
One diagram indicated there is another vein that meets up half way to their location, and THAT is where overflow comes from. So that entrance must be uphill, while the entrance they walked into must be basically level with them. And it implies to me that there is no “flow” per se - only as a consequence of current rains flowing in, which implies to me that that vein is essentially a run-off creek only, and not a genuine permanent creek. Then I’d think at least they don’t have much “current” to deal with, but some statements make me question that.
I think it’s an underground muddy stream that is subject to changes quickly, rainfall induced.
Branagh said five units were to be sent out of the local airport on a SpaceX jet and that the Wing Inflatables crew will be willing to manufacture more pods to be sent if requested.
The pod is made of the same polyurethane the company uses on its boats and pontoons. Its orange and black and about 7 feet long and 4 feet wide. On one end is a metal ring ropes can be tied to and the other end opens up with Velcro to allow for someone to scoot in with a SCUBA tank.
Its covered in handles to give rescue divers lots of places to grab onto it. On the top, it has four holes that allow for air from the breathing apparatus to escape the pod if less buoyancy is required. The pod has two black pontoons on either side that can be inflated using air from a SCUBA tank for additional buoyancy if needed.
Theyd climb in and theyd have a breathing apparatus and you could pull them through the submerged part. Thats the big issue with the rescue right now, Wing general manager Patrick Sproul said.
Work at the Wing Inflatables factory in Arcata began around 5 a.m. Friday, he said.
Thats not our typical start time, but this isnt a typical situation, Sproul said.
By 1 p.m., five employees were testing the first one out in the Arcata Community Pool much to the delight of onlookers including a group of curious Arcata Elementary School children taking part in a summer program.
Wing Inflatables has decades of experience making inflatable craft and is no stranger to rescue situations. Last year, Wing Inflatables boats were used in Hurricane Harvey search-and-rescue operations.
Its kind of what we do. ... Give us a problem and well find out a way to solve it, Sproul said.
Sproul said the hope is that rescue divers can bring the pod to the trapped team and load them up and pull them out of the cave one at a time. The trapped boys wouldnt have to learn to swim, dive or cave dive if the devices are implemented.
The tests at the pool were overseen by Charlie Notthoff, who is a Pacific Outfitters dive instructor with 40 years of experience teaching diving.
Its a whole different thing. Im not a certified cave diver, he said when asked to compare regular and cave diving.
The guinea pig at the pool was Wing Inflatables finisher Brian Peterson who has never dived before and got into the pod feet first like a sleeping bag hugging the SCUBA tank to his chest with the mouthpiece clenched in his teeth.
After the Velcro end was sealed, the pod was rolled into the pool with a splash. The team allowed the pod to be hole-side down to see how the pod filled with the respirators air, then flipped it to see how the holes allowed the air to escape before test filling the pontoons.
Hes got a really great breathing rate, nice and calm, Notthoff said.
This is important because fast, shallow, nervous breathing can run through the air in SCUBA tanks faster.
It was definitely a hell of a new experience, Peterson said.
Next to try it out was Notthoff himself.
Its not the most comfortable thing right off the bat, he said about being in the pod.
He added that the alternative is for these untrained boys to dive through the cave in zero visibility water which can also be uncomfortable.
I am glad the man is still alive....
“Their biggest threat/worry is more rainfall”
It is monsoon season. The journey out is 5 hours.
Here’s the wiki,
It goes into a pretty good detail of the situation on the ground. Amazingly the coach completely disregarded signs at the entrance of the Cave System which warned against entering the caves during the monsoon season as they are known to flood.
That’s why I said on a rope.
I had wondered if Thai officials had warning signs posted...well this coach is going to be getting some dirty looks for sure
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