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Rescuing the boys in the Thailand Cave

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Rescuing the boys in the Thailand Cave

Old 07-04-2018, 12:50 PM
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Default Rescuing the boys in the Thailand Cave

I get that it would be dangerous getting the Thai boys football team out of the cave with SCUBA gear but it seems like the best option to me. I am not a diver but perhaps THT has some experienced divers that could comment.

These are healthy 11-16 year old boys healthy enough to be on a football team, not senior citizens. They don't have to be taught safe cave diving they just have to be extracted from the cave. There are (or should be) unlimited rescue resources and support so why not try something like this:

1) teach the boys how to wear the gear and breathe through it
2) Have 2 trained rescue divers like Navy Seals, USAF Combat Rescue or Coast Guard Rescue swimmers take each boy out 1 at a time with extra breathing gear if necessary.

There is no way to eliminate risk but leaving them there while we wait for the water to go down in monsson season is a bad plan

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/03/opinions/cave-expertthai-rescue-is-one-of-the-toughest-ive-seen-mirza/index.html
Quote from article:


"The most dangerous is trying to teach them enough diving skills to dive them out. It's physically strenuous: in water, through blackout conditions, through tight squeezes for hundreds of meters. It's something that skilled cave divers spend hundreds of hours training for after they have already been open water divers for quite some time. A moment of panic or loss of the breathing regulator can be fatal for the novice diver, and may also put the cave diver escorting him in danger."
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:56 PM
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I agree that taking them out with SCUBA gear is the best way. The problems - and there are many - can be overcome with careful planning. The biggest obstacle will be fear and anxiety on the part of the kids. Rescue swimmers can get them out but you're dealing with young, frightened kids, many of whom don't know how to swim. They most likely won't need to swim (follow along guide ropes) and 2 rescue swimmers per kid would be my plan. Don't know how many tanks (probably one plus a pony) would be needed.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:01 PM
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Will be interesting to watch. Amazing they lived 10 days, in the dark, with no food.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:02 PM
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I cave dive frequently, not knowing the details of the situation myself however in short fear and panic is a sure way to get killed during a cave dive. It is a risk that is mitigated through training, knowledge and experience. Just strapping dive gear on kids that have never been diving in their life and essentially taking them on a guided cave dive is a very bad idea.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:36 PM
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Well it took them 10 days to find them and they founud them where they thought they would be. Itís 1.5 miles under water with current through narrow passageways, many only wide enough for a single person. Each trip with a single kid would take hours to complete. Fully submersed. They are WEAK right now. Although they now have food, they hadnt eaten for 10 days straight and are wasted away. Will take them weeks to regain strength. AND they canít swim. Soooo. . .
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:44 PM
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That would be far too dangerous. It would be an almost certainty that some if not most of the children would panic at some point during an extremely technical extrication dive which would in all likelihood result in the death of that child and potentially the rescuers. Unfortunately that is almost certain. I cave dove for many years and one of the most concerning risks has always been a panicking buddy. You can control your reactions through training, experience, equipment redundancy and mind set but cannot control others. Selecting dive buddies is extremely important for technical diving.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:46 PM
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Iíve cave dived once and that was enough. It was actually in southern Thialand but not where they are.

The additional issue here is that there are some narrow places where you need to remove your tank to fit through and move you tank through separately. Not something you want scared boys with zero experience to even attempt. Although in the end they may be forced to do it, Iím sure they are trying everything else first.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:50 PM
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What is the alternative then? it's one thing to say it's risky, but they need to get them out! one recent news broadcast suggest they might attempt drilling down to them, but, it's a long way to drill a hole big enough to get out of, and heavy rain is predicted.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:57 PM
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Why not drill a hole to them from above, like when those minors were rescued overseas years ago. Today, bore holes large enough to drop a tube down to hold a human can easily go several thousand feet.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by noelm View Post
What is the alternative then? it's one thing to say it's risky, but they need to get them out! one recent news broadcast suggest they might attempt drilling down to them, but, it's a long way to drill a hole big enough to get out of, and heavy rain is predicted.
The obvious one would be to somehow lower the water level so they can walk out the same way they walked in. My guess is that they would try to divert the water entering. Just a guess though.

I’m sure they are also looking for less dangerous alternative routes. Caves usually have more than one branch.

Or just leave them there for a few more weeks until the rainy season ends. They can be supplied so other than it being a crap experience it’s still better than dying.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:24 PM
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The only thing I can think of is some kind of narrow tube that has an air supply inside. Hook a cable to it with one kid inside and have a diver along side to keep it from snagging or getting hung up. It would be slow but less stressful on the kid than being in the water. if a Cave diver can fit then a small kid or teen should fit in a tube the size of the diver.
i'm sure drilling like they did in Chile is an option but my question would be do they have any water above them. If so they could flood the area they're in.
Keep the ideas coming....
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:25 PM
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I would also suggest very bright underwater lights set up along the path to get to them.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:38 PM
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There was a request going out for small full face scuba masks. A big worry would be hypothermia, those kids don't look like they have an ounce of body fat on them. It's a long swim out. Full face masks, wet suits, a well lit passage with guide ropes and handlers, it could be done. There's a lot of ifs, some people become claustrophobic when they put a mask on.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by peacemon View Post
I would also suggest very bright underwater lights set up along the path to get to them.
There going to need an awfully long extension cord but I agree that would definitely increase the chance of success.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:53 PM
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Drill from above like the Chile rescue. I for one could not scuba out. I would panic. Bring me food, a large ration of booze daily, and I'll wait it out, thank you!

Amazing they have been found. Good for those Brits.
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:24 PM
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The drilling is to me the best option but I wonder if they can get the equipment there. I also thought of a tube to fit a person to be pulled out through the cave, I'm thinking a semi- flexible clear tube again with self contained air. Perhaps semi-sedate them if panicking is a concern
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:48 PM
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I like drilling option too. They will figure it out. All are safe for now.
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bone-a-fide View Post
Well it took them 10 days to find them and they founud them where they thought they would be. Itís 1.5 miles under water with current through narrow passageways, many only wide enough for a single person. Each trip with a single kid would take hours to complete. Fully submersed. They are WEAK right now. Although they now have food, they hadnt eaten for 10 days straight and are wasted away. Will take them weeks to regain strength. AND they canít swim. Soooo. . .
They have plenty of time if they start now. They could be pulled through by the rescue divers one at a time. Battery powered lights and guide lines could be rigged.

Waiting for the monsoon too start is not a good plan.
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by spraynet 1 View Post
Why not drill a hole to them from above, like when those minors were rescued overseas years ago. Today, bore holes large enough to drop a tube down to hold a human can easily go several thousand feet.
The void there I is probably under pressure which is keeping the water at bay. So 2 problems assuming that is the case. 1 is if they do drill a hole, then there is nothing to hold back the water. the other problem is that likely these kids will need extensive decompression from sitting there that long under pressure, and if you drill a hole, there will be a explosive decompression, andmost likely they will die from the bends before they hit the opening.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:10 PM
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Damn, it seems like with all the modern technology we have these days there would be an "easy" fix. I guess it goes to show how mother nature can kick our ass no matter how advanced we are. Prayers to the kids and I'm sure the greatest minds available are working on solutions.

Has anybody seen how far they would have to go underwater?
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