Thailand cave rescue: Soccer players, coach found alive

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Re: Thailand cave rescue: Soccer players, coach found alive

Postby Cordelia » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:08 am

UNCONFIRMED Thai media reports say at least two boys have emerged from a flooded cave system after successfully negotiating the difficult channels with the assistance of rescue divers.

If correct, the boys have emerged some two hours earlier than anticipated.

The boys were expected to have been rested and prepared in a specially prepared chamber after the hardest leg of the cave evacuation. Here they were to prepare their eyes for daylight after some two weeks underground before the final leg. ... 8351060fa8
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Re: Thailand cave rescue: Soccer players, coach found alive

Postby 82_28 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:13 am

Nothing on live CNN yet. So yes, unconfirmed.
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Re: Thailand cave rescue: Soccer players, coach found alive

Postby Iamwhomiam » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:55 am

I've heard two reports, the first, six have been rescued - are out of the cave, and then another reporting four have been rescued. So, hooray!
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Re: Thailand cave rescue: Soccer players, coach found alive

Postby Cordelia » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:55 pm

82_28 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:36 am wrote:I know I had an active imagination at that age back then and talked to everybody. What do you guys think the kids have been talking about all this time? It will be fascinating to "find out".

Hungry adolescent boys guess would be food.
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Re: Thailand cave rescue: Soccer players, coach found alive

Postby Cordelia » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:17 am

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


fwiw, regarding the divers/rescuers, I found this article interesting...

This is how, and why, explorers go cave diving

Bring multiple light sources, more than enough air, and follow the line.

By Rob Verger July 6, 2018

Matt Covington surfaces from an exploration dive in a cave in southern Mexico in 2009. Marcin Gala / U.S. Deep Caving Team

With 12 boys trapped 2.5 miles deep in a cave in northern Thailand, one likely way for them to exit the winding chamber is for them to dive through the flooded portions—with help from rescuers.

Such cave diving, as it’s know to professional cavers, can be dangerous. That point was hammered home Friday when a rescue diver in Thailand, Saman Kunan, died, reportedly from a lack of oxygen, while delivering supplies.

But for some adventurers and explorers, cave diving has become a niche technical activity, requiring a skill set similar to a combination of open-water scuba diving and rock climbing.

The activity is so rarified that Bill Stone, a longtime cave diver and expedition leader from Texas, estimates that as few as 75 people around the world do it seriously. It’s so serious that Stone, who has been cave diving for 42 years, does not consider the diving part of caving to be recreational.

“Some people view it as a sport,” he says. “I don’t. I view it as a tool for exploration.”

In fact, modern cave diving grew out of that need to explore, to go further.

Spring vs sump

The simplest form of the activity is the spring dive, in which you strap on scuba gear and journey down a clear-flowing subterranean spring. That watery endeavor is popular in Florida and on the Yucatan Peninsula. Stone estimates that more than 10,000 people around the world do this sort of cave diving. The longest spring dive on record, he says, was 10 miles underwater, round trip.

But the more serious activity, and what the Thailand divers must face, is the sump dive. Just as its name implies, this is a dive into a region of a cave where water, possibly murky and silty with little to zero visibility, and with water high enough to hit the ceiling, has collected. Professionals like Stone undertake these dives to get from one dry chamber to the next—it’s a means to an end.

Because it can be so unforgiving, careful training and the proper gear are essential.

The essential gear

Like any diver, cave divers wear a wetsuit or drysuit. They also carry multiple light sources (a rule that applies to dry caving as well). They pack in two air tanks, and two regulators, which carry the breathing air to your mouth via a mouth piece. They also wear a mask and fins. Generally speaking, cave divers follow a rule of thirds when it comes to their air: a diver should only use one-third of their air while going into the cave, saving two-thirds for the return trip. Sump divers wear helmets, too.

Because it’s sometimes impossible to see, cave divers always use a line, like climbers sometimes do while mountaineering. “There’s almost invariably silt on the floor, sometimes on the roof,” says Stone. A diver’s fins can loosen it and stir it up.

The vanguards set the line, using first a 2 mm thick rope and then bringing through a heavier and sturdier one. To stay with the line, a diver makes an OK sign with his hand around it, keeping it always in the circular space.

The goal, of course, is to get from one part of dry cave to the next. “Generally people sump dive so that they can get into cave that has air further beyond,” says Anmar Mirza, the national coordinator of the National Cave Rescue Commission in the United States.

Because you’re “basically diving in soup,” Mirza says, the line literally can be a life line. When a cave diver does die underwater, he says, usually it’s because they “lost their line, and get lost, and ran out of air.”

The pull of exploration

So why do people do it? Why take the risk?

“The thrill is finding something that’s new to you, or something that’s new to everybody,” says Forrest Wilson, the vice chairman of the National Speleological Society Cave Diving Section. Wilson made his first cave dive in 1969 and is still at it. “Most people I know who are not cave divers think I’m crazy,” he says. “But I have fun. I started doing it because I’m an explorer.”

One other aspect. Unlike in open-water diving, you can’t just surface in the middle of the journey. “You’ve got to get back to the entrance,” he says.
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Re: Thailand cave rescue: Soccer players, coach found alive

Postby conniption » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:46 am

I love a happy ending...

ABC news

Thailand cave rescue: All 12 boys, soccer coach rescued

After 18 days trapped in a cave in Thailand, 12 soccer players and their coach have been rescued.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A daring rescue mission in the treacherous confines of a flooded cave in northern Thailand has saved all 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped deep within the labyrinth, ending a grueling 18-day ordeal that claimed the life of an experienced diver and riveted people around the world.

Thailand's Navy SEALs, who were central to the rescue effort, said on their Facebook page that the remaining four boys and their 25-year-old coach were all brought out safely by early Tuesday evening. Several hours later, a medic and three SEAL divers who had stayed for days with the boys in their tiny refuge in the cave also came out.

Eight of the boys were rescued by a team of Thai and international divers on Sunday and Monday.

"We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave," the SEALs said, referring to the name of the boys' soccer team. "Everyone is safe."

Cheers erupted at a local government office where dozens of volunteers and journalists were awaiting news of whether the intricate and high-risk rescue mission had succeeded. Helicopters transporting the boys roared overhead. People on the street cheered and clapped when ambulances ferrying them on the last leg of their journey from the cave arrived at a hospital in Chiang Rai city.

Amporn Sriwichai, an aunt of the rescued coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, said she was happy and excited. "If I see him, I just want to hug him and tell him that I missed him very much," she said.

Payap Maiming, who helped provide food and necessities to rescue workers and journalists, said a "miracle" had happened.

"I'm happy for Thais all over the country," he said. "And actually just everyone in the world because every news channel has presented this story and this is what we have been waiting for."

"It's really a miracle," Payap said. "It's hope and faith that has brought us this success."

The plight of the boys and their coach has captivated not only Thailand, but much of the world - from the heart-sinking news that they were missing, to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when they were found 10 days later by a pair of British divers. They were trapped in the Tham Luang cave on June 23, when they were exploring it after a soccer practice and it became flooded by monsoon rains.

Each of the boys, ages 11 to 16 and with no diving experience, was guided out by a pair of divers in three days of intricate and high-stakes operations. The route, in some places just a crawl space, had oxygen canisters positioned at regular intervals to refresh each team's air supply.

Highlighting the dangers, a former Thai navy SEAL died Friday while replenishing the canisters.

Cave-diving experts had warned it was potentially too risky to dive the youngsters out.

But Thai officials, acutely aware that the boys could be trapped for months by monsoon rains that would swell waters in the cave system, seized a window of opportunity provided by relatively mild weather. A massive water pumping effort also made the winding cave more navigable. The confidence of the diving team, and expertise specific to the cave, grew after its first successful mission.

"We did something nobody thought possible," Chiang Rai province acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, leader of the rescue effort, said at a celebratory news conference.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, speaking Tuesday before the final rescue was completed, said the boys were given an anti-anxiety medication to help with their perilous removal from the cave.

Asked at a weekly news conference in Bangkok if the boys had been sedated, Prayuth said: "Who would chloroform them? If they're chloroformed, how could they come out? It's called anxiolytic, something to make them not excited, not stressed."

Prayuth said the Tham Luang cave would be closed for some time to make it safe for visitors.

The eight boys brought out by divers on Sunday and Monday were doing well and were in good spirits, a senior health official said. They were given a treat Tuesday: bread with chocolate spread that they had requested.

Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, said the first four boys rescued were able to eat normal food, though they couldn't yet take the spicy dishes favored by many Thais.

Two of the boys possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling," he said.

"The kids are footballers, so they have high immune systems," Jedsada said. "Everyone is in high spirits and is happy to get out. But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them."

It could be at least seven days before they can be released from the hospital, Jedsada told a news conference.

Family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass isolation barrier.

It was clear doctors were taking a cautious approach. Jedsada said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face "because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave."

If medical tests show no dangers, after another two days, parents will be able to enter the isolation area dressed in sterilized clothing and staying 2 meters (yards) away from the boys, said Tosthep Bunthong, a public health official.

John Tangkitcharoenthawon, a local village chairman, was bursting with happiness over the successful rescue.

"If this place had a roof, the morale has gone straight through it," he said.

President Donald Trump joined those paying tribute to the rescuers.

"On behalf of the United States, congratulations to the Thai Navy SEALs and all on the successful rescue of the 12 boys and their coach from the treacherous cave in Thailand," he tweeted.

Trump added: "Such a beautiful moment - all freed, great job!"

One of soccer's most popular teams, Manchester United, expressed its relief over the rescue and invited the boys and their coach, as well as those who saved them, to come see them play on their home ground this season.

A message posted on the English Premier League club's Twitter account said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected. We would love to welcome the team from Wild Boars Football Club and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season."

The international soccer federation, FIFA, had already invited the boys to attend the World Cup final in Russia this Sunday. However, doctors treating the boys said it would be too soon for them to make the trip.

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Re: Thailand cave rescue: Soccer players, coach found alive

Postby Cordelia » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:09 am

Ekapol Chanthawong

Bond between players and coach may have saved Thai boy's lives

Encouraging words of wisdom from soccer coach Ekapol Chanthawong and his experience in meditation as a Thai monk may have played a large role in keeping the 12 Thai boys alive inside the flooded cave until they were rescued this week.

July 13, 2018

By Eddie Pells Associated Press

The day-to-day pearls of wisdom imparted by coaches to players – from youth sports to high school, to college and even the pros – are well-known: Try your hardest, don't lose focus, support your teammates, keep your chin up.

Sometimes, heeding that advice can lead to winning a game or a championship.

In the case of the 12 youth soccer players trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand, it may have helped save their lives.

Unsure of their prospects for more than two weeks while they awaited rescue, the kids and their coach found themselves in a life-and-death struggle that placed an acute focus on the value of teamwork, positive attitude and strong leadership.

Everyone made it out alive, in no small part, according to rescuers and sports experts, because they listened to their coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, or "Coach Ake," and remembered the lessons athletes have been absorbing on soccer pitches, basketball courts and baseball diamonds for decades.

"The role of sports is that sports skills become life skills," said John O'Sullivan, founder of the Changing the Game Project, which teaches about the value of sports in everyday life. "It's learning to work with others, depending on your teammates, trusting them. These things become life skills when they're intentionally taught through sports. These kids had to use these sports-life skills much sooner than they might have hoped for."

The best in the coaching business are often those who master the art of subtly instilling habits that can carry over to different venues later in life. The general idea: Making a good pass won't necessarily lead to a win that day. But doing all the small things it takes to be a good teammate could have a profoundly positive effect down the road.

"The lesson isn't always the outcome," said John Tauer, the title-winning basketball coach at Division III University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, who also teaches social psychology. "We talk about it all the time. We don't control the outcome. We control the effort and how we play together."

In the case of the cave ordeal, he said, "it was, 'How do we get through the next five minutes together?' It was staying calm if someone's panicking. Doing all those little things put them in a situation where they could achieve that goal."

Chanthawong spent nearly a decade as a Buddhist monk and learned the art of meditation – a skill that may have conveyed a sense of calm to the boys, ages 11 to 16, as they awaited rescue while the days turned into weeks.

He had also spent lots of time with the kids before the harrowing trip. The team's off-the-field adventures included cycling trips, river rafting, swimming in waterfalls, and exploring caves.

They were the sort of team-building trips that coaches use to build rapport among teammates who might not otherwise see each other off the field. Those kinds of bonding experiences can also serve to establish the coach as a trustworthy figure.

"Trust isn't just about his ability to coach soccer," Mr. O'Sullivan said. "It's about his connection to these kids. It's about being dependable, believable, vulnerable and all these other things. When you go into this situation where it's 'I'm going to try to save your life,' that's when trust really, really matters."

There were other teams at work saving the kids – up to 100 military rescuers, including Thai Navy SEALs, all of whom took part in teambuilding exercises of their own.

The head of the US rescue contingent, Derek Anderson, described the soccer team's survival and rescue as the ultimate example of teamwork. He said the boys were "incredibly resilient."

"What was really important was the coach and the boys all came together and discussed staying strong, having the will to live, having the will to survive," Mr. Anderson said.

It took about nine hours to extract each of the 12 trapped players and their coach from the winding cave. Each player had to wear diving equipment and make it through a maze of dark waterways.

"The lesson here is about doing things the right way, trusting that we're all on the same page, and then, at some level, it's rolling the dice," Mr. Tauer said. In sports, as in the cave crisis, "a leader tries to put you in a spot to do everything to the best of your ability. But then, you've got to trust." ... oy-s-lives
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Re: Thailand cave rescue: Soccer players, coach found alive

Postby Cordelia » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:13 pm

Elon Musk' s rescue plan called out as PR stunt.....

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Re: Thailand cave rescue: Soccer players, coach found alive

Postby conniption » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:39 pm

Rescued Thai footballers attend Buddhist ceremony near cave - Daily Mail
Daily Mail
Published on Jul 19, 2018

Eleven of the boys and their coach joined their families at a Buddhist temple, overlooking Myanmar on Thailand's northern border as they knelt to pray for protection from misfortunes. A portrait was displayed of Saman Gunan, the former Navy SEAL who lost his life while playing his part in the rescue of the Wild Boars team. The team has already said they would ordain as Buddhist novices to honour Gunan. It comes as pictures emerged of British diver Vern Unsworth - who was instrumental in the rescue operation - at Bangkok International Airport a day after Tesla CEO Elon Musk apologised for calling him 'pedo guy'.

Original Article:
Original Video:


Thailand's rescued cave boys return home to families after stay at Buddhist temple


MAE SAI, Thailand — With their heads bowed and wearing orange robes, the members of the boys' soccer team rescued from almost three weeks trapped in a cave in northern Thailand on Saturday completed their time as novice Buddhist monks.

About 300 people gathered for the ceremony on a rainy morning that saw the boys leave temple life to return to their families. Those present gave alms — flowers, food, money — as a gesture of their religious devotion.

The July 25 ordination of 11 boys of the Wild Boars soccer team along with the 25-year-old coach was especially dedicated to a former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, who died while diving during a volunteer mission to supply the cave with oxygen tanks essential to a successful rescue. A twelfth boy did not go through the religious ritual because he isn't Buddhist.

At the temple near Thailand's mountainous border with Myanmar, the boys and their coach sat barefooted in a large pavilion in their orange robes. The adults sitting behind them wore white.

With heads bowed, they prayed, fidgeted and occasionally yawned as monks chanted sacred texts. They then placed new monks' robes on a table in front of a large photo of Saman.

Members of Wild Boar soccer team rescued from Tham Luang cave leave their Buddhist monkhood
Members of theWild Boar soccer team put saffron robes in front of a portrait of former Thai Navy Seal Petty Officer 1st class Saman Kunan, who died in the Tham Luang cave rescue operations.CHIANG RAI PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFI / EPA

They afterward changed into white shirts and blue pants. Coach Ekapol "Ake" Chanthawong remained in his Buddhist robe, as he has committed to an extended period in the monkhood.

Although they will be giving up their Buddhist robes, it is likely that the boys will retain some of the solitude of temple life, as the government has discouraged for the time being any interviews with them, wielding the threat of legal action under child protection laws.

While there has been some criticism that the government wants to control the narrative of the boys' ordeal to exploit for political purposes — Thailand's military rulers are seeking to booster their popularity ahead of a possible election next year — psychologists agree that the boys may be vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder. Both their physical and mental health has been judged fine.

According to Dr. Paul Auerbach of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University's medical school, it's possible that they might suffer withdrawal or perhaps post-traumatic stress disorder, which is characterized by symptoms that include insomnia, nightmares, hypervigilance, low mood, difficulty concentrating on schoolwork, flashbacks and avoidance of situations similar to those that caused the original trauma.

"On the bright side, it is predictable that not all will be adversely affected — perhaps only about a third of them — and in those cases only a few might require professional psychological or psychiatric intervention," he said, speaking before the rescue.

The boys and their coach entered the cave on June 23 for a quick, casual trek, but flooding quickly blocked the exit and they had to retreat deeper inside the cave. Heavy rains raised water levels further and thwarted the initial searches before two British divers on July 2 found the group huddled on a dry patch of ground, safe but hungry. They were extricated from the cave in an intricate operation involving an international team of divers over three days beginning July 8.

The epic event is being commemorated with construction of a museum, expected to open within six months, along with a statue of Saman.

Saman, who is considered a national hero, was cremated in a royally sponsored funeral and had his ashes scattered in the Mekong River. ... ay-n897626
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Re: Thailand cave rescue: Soccer players, coach found alive

Postby conniption » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:06 pm

:shrug: don't ask me...?


Elon Musk triples down on ‘pedo’ claims, calls Thai cave rescuer ‘child rapist’

Published time: 5 Sep, 2018

© Andrej Sokolow / Global Look Press

Elon Musk wrote that he “hopes” to get sued by Vernon Unsworth, once again accusing the 63-year-old British diver – who played a key role in the rescue of a Thai youth football team from a cave – of being a “child rapist.”

“I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you f**king asshole,” Musk reportedly wrote in a letter to BuzzFeed, without offering evidence to substantiate his claims. “He’s an old, single white guy from England who’s been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.”
READ MORE: Thai cave rescuer who Elon Musk called 'pedo guy' prepares to sue for libel
Musk’s accusations against the British diver, who pinpointed the location of 12 boys inside the flooded Tham Luang cave complex back in July, started with Unsworth’s rejection of the billionaire's proposal to use a mini-submarine in the narrow passageways. After calling the Brit a “pedo guy,” Musk quickly deleted his tweet and issued an apology, after the Brit threatened a lawsuit.

As the British diver and cave explorer prepares for the legal battle against the billionaire over “false and defamatory statements,” Musk says he is ready to accept the challenge. “As for this alleged threat of a lawsuit, which magically appeared when I raised the issue (nothing was sent or raised beforehand), I f**king hope he sues me,” Musk told the publication.

Meanwhile, Unsworth’s attorney, L. Lin Wood, said that Musk’s accusations are nothing more than “vindictive and vicious” lies. “After deleting the initial accusation and tweeting an apology, Mr Musk has continued to republish his false and unsupportable accusation. His conduct demonstrates that his recklessness is intentional and designed to harm Mr. Unsworth,” Wood said. ... ia-claims/
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