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Thread: Soccer team missing in cave in Thailand found alive

  1. #26
    Senior Member puke's Avatar
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    No more thai food. I hate it
    Last edited by puke; 07-08-2018 at 08:00 PM.
    Gooble goble gooble goble one of us one of us.

  2. #27
    Senior Member puke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star View Post
    It's really been bugging me the last few days
    It's been bugging me also, I lost a bunch of sleep.
    Gooble goble gooble goble one of us one of us.

  3. #28
    Senior Member Non_Saepe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star View Post
    OK, so I finally figured out why Thais are so forgiving of the coach while the rest of the world is all "WTF WAS HE THINKING??!!"


    It's really been bugging me the last few days because I couldn't figure out if it was purely cultural differences or whether there was really important info we weren't grasping.


    Turns out we didn't have all the details.


    Apparently it should've been relatively safe the day they went into the cave. They entered on June 23, in dry conditions.

    Monsoon season comes unfailingly some time between July - November.

    This year it came early, breaking generations of known & trusted weather patterns.

    Apparently everyone was taken by surprise - so that's why everyone's telling the coach not to blame himself



    Edit : it was this represention of the coach looking gaunt & meditating inside the cave while keeping 12 little "wild boars" safe, that really opened my eyes to the fact that Thais were viewing him very, very differently than Western observers.

    They say he taught them to meditate to get them through the 10 days of starvation & sensory deprivation, & that this is now helping the boys remain calm on the dive extractions
    Honestly, I wondered about the initiation aspect as well. I do not know much about other countries, or sports, or initiation rights for that matter. I think it's cool that the parents don't blame the coach and I think it's really cool that there were monks meditating for the little dudes. I mean, my black heart is a bit red tonight.
    Sarcastic. Skeptic Tank. Self-deprecating.

  4. #29
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Some sites are saying there's a 5th one just come out now? It's coming from tabloids like The Sun though so could be they're jumping the gun trying to be first with the news

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/671823...fth-boy-saved/

    <snipped>>
    A Navy official has confirmed that a fifth boy has been rescued this morning while a witness said they saw emergency workers carrying him on a stretcher to an ambulance.

    An ambulance with flashing lights was seen leaving the cave area hours after the rescue operation resumed at 11am local time this morning.

    Despite overnight rain showers, Thai authorities say the downpours did not change water level in cave.

    Sunday's near-four hour rescue bid, led by British divers, has been described as a ?masterpiece? and saw the children swimming through the deadly tunnel network which claimed the life of a Navy SEAL last week.

    They were guided out by two scuba divers each wearing full face breathing masks but are now being kept away from their parents over potential risk of infection, officials said.

    The lads were named in local media as Monhkhol Boonpiam, 13, Prachak Sutham, 14, Natthawut Thakhamsai, 14, and Phipat Phothi, 15.
    <<snipped>>


    Also WTF?? "kept away from their parents over potential risk of infection"?? They're in contact with 70 plus divers, assorted rescue personnel, ambo flight crew, hospital staff etcetcetc what fucking diff could it possible make to keep their parents away?

    Unless there's actually some dangerous flu epidemic or something hitting their families right now, I hope that part's wrong because it's really shitty.



    Edit : Confirmed by more reputable sources now + a 6th & 7th boy as well

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/li...ed-latest-news


    22m ago
    22:19
    Confirmed: seventh boy rescued
    Michael Safi Michael Safi
    A Guardian source has witnessed a seventh boy being rescued and has heard that an eighth boy is ?coming out?.
    Last edited by blighted star; 07-09-2018 at 04:43 AM.

  5. #30
    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    As it looks as if the rescue operation is on hold until tomorrow, we?re going to pause the blog for now. We?ll resume blogging if there are any more key developments or press conferences. In the meantime there?s more on Thai cave rescue section including this video update on today?s developments, and there?ll be a new live blog on Tuesday.


    The Thai navy Seals have confirmed that eight boys have been rescued from the Tham Luang cave complex in Northern Thailand, after two separate rescue operations. A further four boys were rescued on Monday after four were rescued on Sunday.
    A further four boys and their coach Ekapol Chantawong remain in the cave. The identities of the rescued boys have not been confirmed.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/li...ed-latest-news
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  6. #31
    Senior Member puke's Avatar
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    If they were never found how long do you think it would take for them resort to cannibalism?
    Gooble goble gooble goble one of us one of us.

  7. #32
    Senior Member Music's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puke View Post
    If they were never found how long do you think it would take for them resort to cannibalism?
    As soon as the first one went.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
    Why?

    Because I don't like anal penetration sex between men, I don't.

    Just because I don't like anal sex, doesn't make me any less gay or unable to be loved.

    I can't be the only one out here, I'm just not. Don't worry about it. Mind your fucking business.

  8. #33
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    I can't believe they've managed to do this but they're saying the 11th boy is on his way to the rescue chopper & the 12th is coming through now.

    There's only the coach left now but presumably he's on his way out too.

    This is just fucking amazing.







    Also, now we know how those "less reputable" rags were getting the details so damn fast.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/liv...h-live-updates


    A foreign journalist has been detained for flying a drone near the cave entrance area, according to Thai media. On Monday the authorities complained that a journalist flew a drone above the operation.

    There are also reports that some media have been listening to police radio reports. ?This is really wrong,? said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation.



    Let me take this moment to say FUCK RUPERT MURDOCH & filthy empire because you can guarantee he'll have a hand in it somehow, somewhere
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  9. #34
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Yeah fuck they really did it. Just the Australian Dr & 3 more Thai navy SEALs to come out & everyone's back safe.

    Wow.


    Oh & the thing where the parents weren't seeing the kids may have been due to a group decision between the parents not to find out who was out safe until all 12 boys were out
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  10. #35
    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  11. #36
    Senior Member TupeloHoney's Avatar
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    What a miracle they're all out and OK. The divers and all the rescue people are amazing. And I love that people from all over the world came together to help. What a wonderful, happy ending!




    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star View Post
    Yeah fuck they really did it. Just the Australian Dr & 3 more Thai navy SEALs to come out & everyone's back safe.

    Wow.


    Oh & the thing where the parents weren't seeing the kids may have been due to a group decision between the parents not to find out who was out safe until all 12 boys were out

    The families knew who came out. They were able to see them through a glass window at the hospital (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...cue/767032002/), they just couldn't be in the same room with them. I even read an article identifying the first four boys about a half a day or so after they were rescued.
    Quote Originally Posted by Not your business View Post
    I will out think the fucking pants off of you and you would thank me for helping you out of them.

  12. #37
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TupeloHoney View Post
    What a miracle they're all out and OK. The divers and all the rescue people are amazing. And I love that people from all over the world came together to help. What a wonderful, happy ending!







    The families knew who came out. They were able to see them through a glass window at the hospital (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...cue/767032002/), they just couldn't be in the same room with them. I even read an article identifying the first four boys about a half a day or so after they were rescued.


    Thanks, that makes a lot more sense, there's SOOOOO much rumour - at least twice as much as you'd usually see in a big story like this because people are using google translate on Thai soc med & then making assumptions based on the "interpretations".



    Australian media today are making a big fuss over the fact that the Australian diving Dr (Richard Harris) cancelled his holiday to the Nullarbor Desert for this rescue, but I don't think they realise there's a very good posibility he was getting ready to dive Cocklebiddy Cave out there. Which might be why he was able to scramble his gear & get to Tham Luang so quickly


    This is a dive at Cocklebiddy.

    http://www.advanceddivermagazine.com...toad/toad.html

    Dr Harris has also been involved in body retrievals, including retrievals of his own friends, in his home state of South Australia. It was pix of a police rescue body retrieval at this same cave below in the 80s that first made me aware of cave-diving. & it's given me the fucken horrors ever since. Which is why I'll always be in total awe of the people who do it & bring back pix so that I never have to.

    https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/...eefe6b5b2d520b




    & now something less o/t than what I typed so far, it looks like the kids won't be allowed to take up the offer to attend World Cup which really sux. Hopefully something else can be arranged for them after they're all cleared by their drs


    http://www.malaysiandigest.com/front...-s-orders.html

  13. #38
    Senior Member Music's Avatar
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    So, so happy to see that they're all out. I can't believe it. I was expecting a bad outcome. Good job to the rescuers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
    Why?

    Because I don't like anal penetration sex between men, I don't.

    Just because I don't like anal sex, doesn't make me any less gay or unable to be loved.

    I can't be the only one out here, I'm just not. Don't worry about it. Mind your fucking business.

  14. #39
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    This bit sux


    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-0...harris/9978700

    The Australian doctor who was the last man out of the Thai cave following the rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team found out shortly afterwards that his father had died.

    Dr Richard Harris's boss, Dr Andrew Pearce, says he has spoken with "Harry", as he is known.

    "This is clearly a time of grief for the Harris family, magnified by the physical and emotional demands of being part of this week's highly complex and ultimately successful rescue operation," Dr Pearce said.

    "He will be coming home soon and taking some well-earned time off to be with his family. He has asked that the family's privacy is respected at this time."

    Adelaide anaesthetist Dr Harris was meant to be on holiday but instead found himself putting his own life at risk to venture into the Chiang Rai cave to medically assess the 12 boys and their coach trapped inside.

    While the world celebrated the survival of all 12 boys and their coach, Dr Harris and three Navy SEALS were still making their way out. They would emerge several hours later.

    He was part of a team of 20 Australians involved in the Thai-led rescue effort, which included his West Australian dive partner, six Federal Police divers, the Navy clearance diver and members of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Crisis Rescue Team.

    Dr Harris responded to the call for help from Thai authorities when he was named specifically by the British diving team leading the mission as the best person for the job, with his medical skills and 30 years diving experience.

    "All the team at SA Ambulance Service is incredibly proud of Dr Harris. It has been a tumultuous week with highs and lows," Dr Pearce said.

    "We are delighted that Harry and the boys are safe and that he was able to play such a remarkable role in the Australian response.

    "Harry is a quiet and kind man who did not think twice about offering his support on this mission."


    Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said it took an incredible team effort to rescue the boys, with Dr Harris playing a key role.

    "He was an integral part of the rescue attempt," she told the ABC.

    "He was specifically identified by the British diving team as an expert whose skills would be required and he was asked for at the highest levels within the Thai Government and fortunately he was able to go to Chiang Rai and be part of the rescue.

    "He is internationally renowned for his expertise in cave rescues.

    "He's very well known to us in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade because he's part of the Australian Medical Assistance Team that goes overseas under our aid programme to support developing countries."

  15. #40
    It was aliens raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...id=mailsignout

    'Stateless' boy who emerged as leader in Thailand cave was key to rescue

    The 12 boys rescued from a cave in Thailand are reported to be feeling better Thursday morning. The boys and their soccer coach have been hospitalized since their 18-day ordeal ended earlier this week and are expected to spend at least a week at the hospital, followed by 30 days at home.

    The British divers who found the boys also had a helper inside the cave: a student who was able to take a leadership role by translating for them. Staff at his school told CBS News' Anna Werner that's not surprising. He's a boy who has already faced significant challenges in his life and overcome them.

    Teacher Kru Nice says 14-year-old Adun Sam-On has always been a leader, despite the fact he doesn't have his parents with him or even an official home.

    Since Adun's parents slipped him out of Myanmar eight years ago to escape the ethnic conflicts there, he's become one of many students at this school considered "stateless." He's not a citizen of any country. Yet in Thailand, Adun is a top student and a standout athlete.

    Kru said she was so worried when she learned Adun was trapped in the cave. But Adun's proficiency in languages – he speaks four – proved key inside the cave, as he acted as a translator for the British divers during the complicated rescue.

    The boys were given anti-anxiety medication to keep them calm. In some portions of the journey, the boys were put into harnesses lying down. Rescuers used a rope system and high lines to pull them through the caverns.

  16. #41
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    I hope he & any other stateless kids & their family members associated with this rescue can get citizenship now that this has gained so much attention.



    Meanwhile, amidst all the Thai cave rescue's super positive stories of human endurance & selflessness, we continue to catch glimpses of the absolute depths of self-obsession, pettiness & vindictiveness


    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...P=share_btn_tw


    Elon Musk calls British diver in Thai cave rescue a 'pedo' in baseless attack

    Accusation directed on Twitter at Vern Unsworth, who called Tesla CEO's offer of "mini-sub" to help rescuers a "PR stunt"


    Sam Levin in San Francisco @SamTLevin


    Mon 16 Jul 2018 06.56 AEST First published on Mon 16 Jul 2018 05.10 AEST



    Elon Musk came under fire on Sunday after launching an extraordinary attack on a British diver who helped rescue the boys trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand, baselessly calling him a "pedo" on Twitter and then doubling down.


    Twelve boys and their football coach were rescued from the Tham Luang cave complex by an international team and after a week of intense drama.

    The chief executive of the tech giant Tesla offered to assist the rescue mission by providing a submarine. The request was turned down. Musk lashed out on Sunday, saying he would make a video proving that his "mini-sub" would have been successful and adding: "Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it."

    The accusation, presented without evidence or context, was directed at Vern Unsworth, a British cave explorer who recently said Musk's attempt to help the rescue effort was a "PR stunt". No evidence has emerged to substantiate Musk's claim of pedophilia.


    " It just had absolutely no chance of working," Unsworth said in a widely shared interview. "He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine, I believe, was about 5ft 6in long, rigid, so it wouldn't have gone round corners or round any obstacles."


    Musk visited the cave system himself. Unsworth said the billionaire "was asked to leave very quickly". He also told CNN Musk could "stick his submarine where it hurts".

    A screen grab of a tweet sent by Elon Musk and subsequently deleted.


    A screen grab of a tweet sent by Elon Musk and subsequently deleted. Photograph: Screen grab/Twitter


    On Sunday, when a Twitter user pointed out that Musk was "calling the guy who found the children a pedo", the billionaire responded: "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true."

    Intense criticism followed. Some Twitter users pointed out how "dangerous" and irresponsible it was to make such a serious allegation and to broadcast a potentially libelous insult to his 22 million followers.

    Spokesmen for Musk and Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Later on Sunday, Musk deleted the "pedo" tweet and its follow-up.

    Unsworth could not immediately be reached.

    Some users reported Musk's comments to Twitter, one saying he "shouldn't be allowed to use Twitter to unleash [his] followers on people like this".

    Musk has repeatedly come under fire for his behavior on Twitter and for Tesla's PR strategy, under which it aggressively attacks critics and journalists. James Anderson, a partner at Baillie Gifford, Tesla's fourth-largest shareholder, said in a recent Bloomberg interview the company needed a period of " peace and execution", adding: "It would be good to just concentrate on the core task."

    Asked about the "pedo" tweet, Anderson told the Guardian in an email: "I intend to convey my - predictable I trust - feelings to the company tomorrow." He declined to elaborate.

    Musk had pledged to be less combative on social media, saying earlier this week: "I have made the mistaken assumption - and I will attempt to be better at this - of thinking that because somebody is on Twitter and is attacking me that it is open season. That is my mistake. I will correct it."

    The billionaire attracted controversy for his approach to the Thai rescue after Narongsak Osatanakorn, head of the joint command center, said the mini-submarine would not have been practical.

    Musk responded by saying Osatanakorn was "not the subject matter expert" and that he had been "inaccurately described as rescue chief" and should have been labeled the "former Thai provincial governor". Osatanakorn stepped down as Chiang Rai governor during the rescue, but was still acting as commander.

    Musk's Sunday tweets came in response to a New York Times opinion piece entitled "What Elon Musk Should Learn From the Thailand Cave Rescue". The Tesla CEO appears to be committed to proving his design would have worked. He wrote: "We will make [a video] of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo."

    He also responded to one critic who had called the submarine idea "absurd" a week earlier, writing: "Stay tuned jackass." That tweet too was deleted.





    Oh & so judging by the original tweet sequence, he was going to insist his employees assemble a dive team & enter the cave during monsoon season to film themselves bringing his sub through. Basically his immediate reaction to criticism was to make people risk their lives in an effort to prove he was right in an internet argument.

    What a colossal fuckwit.







    Also, apt



    https://mobile.twitter.com/steinnes/...23913771888642


    Last edited by blighted star; 07-15-2018 at 06:31 PM.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star View Post
    I hope he & any other stateless kids & their family members associated with this rescue can get citizenship now that this has gained so much attention.



    Meanwhile, amidst all the Thai cave rescue's super positive stories of human endurance & selflessness, we continue to catch glimpses of the absolute depths of self-obsession, pettiness & vindictiveness


    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...P=share_btn_tw








    Oh & so judging by the original tweet sequence, he was going to insist his employees assemble a dive team & enter the cave during monsoon season to film themselves bringing his sub through. Basically his immediate reaction to criticism was to make people risk their lives in an effort to prove he was right in an internet argument.

    What a colossal fuckwit.







    Also, apt



    https://mobile.twitter.com/steinnes/...23913771888642


    Anybody wants to look at Elon Musk's history??? :D anybody wants dig for clues that make Elon Musk a future target for me too or any anti predator group ��

  18. #43
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    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/briti...070323583.html

    Here is an update on the British Cave diver threatening to sue Elon Musk

  19. #44
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    & this bit :

    "Tesla sheds almost $US2b after Elon Musk's 'pedo' attack on British diver"

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-1...banks/10002108


    Most people would learn to be less of an arse after a $2b lesson in behaving yourself, but I'm sure there'll be plenty more displays of obscene entitlement yet

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    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45551895

    update Elon Musk is Sued for his rants

    A British cave diver is suing tech billionaire Elon Musk for defamation after his repeated claims the diver is a child abuser.

    Vernon Unsworth helped with the rescue of 12 Thai teenagers from a flooded cave in July.

    Mr Musk has made several accusations against Mr Unsworth without evidence, including that he was a "child rapist".

    The lawsuit seeks $75,000 (?57,000) in compensation and an injunction against Mr Musk to stop further allegations.

    The filing also says Mr Unsworth is seeking "punitive damages" as well as the compensation, "to punish him for his wrongdoing and deter him from repeating such heinous conduct".

    Read the lawsuit here [2MB]
    It says Mr Musk sometimes used his Twitter account and emails to "publish to the world false and defamatory accusations" against the Briton.

    His account had over 22.5 million followers during this time, the filing states.

    The South African-born head of Tesla previously tweeted it was "strange he hasn't sued me" when Mr Unsworth said he was considering legal action.
    Yes Elon Musk is sued for a rant he made on Twitter.

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  22. #47
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Post

    Some journo's written a book about it so this coverage is really just a promo



    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-...iving/10514970


    'It was utter chaos': Inside the Thai cave rescue that nearly didn't happen
    By Liam Cochrane
    Updated about 6 hours ago


    When the British divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen and caver Rob Harper arrived at Chiang Rai Airport, there was an awkward moment.

    Someone had made up a banner ? something about them being the best cave divers in the world ? and the three were asked to stand in front of it for a photo. They did so, reluctantly; it was not the sort of claim these modest men would make and they were wasting time. But they'd just arrived and didn't want to be rude.

    They had a briefing at the airport with Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn. The divers asked about the weather forecast and whether any of the boys had pre-existing medical conditions, and were surprised when that information was not known. One thing was made clear to them though: the military was in charge of the diving operation.

    There were several government departments involved in getting the British divers to Thailand, and each agency had sent cars to drive the three cave rescue divers to Tham Luang, about 60 kilometres away. So in the end it was a convoy of about 10 vehicles that sped down the highway that Wednesday evening. They got to the cave about 8pm.

    But after an urgent flight across the world and a race to the cave, the British divers were puzzled to be left to fend for themselves.

    "We arrived on site and we were abandoned," John said.

    "We had no real introductions, nothing. On that day, it was utter chaos, with people everywhere ? we were effectively left to our own devices."



    PHOTO: Richard Stanton, left, and John Volanthen arrive in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai in northern Thailand on July 3, 2018. (AP)

    Hostility from local rescuers

    They found Vern Unsworth, who took them to meet the diving supervisor, a military man stationed in the cave mouth. The entrance was theatrically lit, glowing orange from the metre-wide spherical lamp and other smaller lights. The soccer team's bikes still leaned against the hand-rail, a powerful reminder of the lives at stake. Below, hundreds of people swarmed around the cavern.

    The first meeting between the SEALs and the British experts did not go well. The commandos had been working hard, well beyond their comfort zone, and bristled at the idea that John and Rick, "two middle-aged men" (John's words), could do something they couldn't.



    PHOTO: A huge operation was launched to rescue the Wild Boars and their coach. (AP: Sakchai Lalit)

    "There was significant tension," John said. "We had no rank, we had no sway ? As much as we didn't know how to communicate with the military, they didn't know how to communicate with us either."

    Inside Chamber 3, the water level was now rising about 30 centimetres every 10 minutes. The military had ordered that all diving be suspended due to the dangerous conditions.

    "The SEAL team didn't allow them to go in," said Pae (Ruengrit Changkwanyuen). "It was bad enough that the issue escalated up to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Eventually, Rear Admiral Arpakorn Yuukongkaew [the top SEAL commander] said, 'Just let them go.'

    Someone muttered, 'If they die in there, don't expect us to retrieve their bodies'.



    PHOTO: Military personnel gather as they prepare to go in to Tham Luang cave complex. (Reuters: Athit Perawongmetha)

    Water rising

    Vern and Rob helped carry the air cylinders in with Rick and John. Almost a kilometre along, they came to an arch followed by a dip that was about waist deep. Rob helped them through the half-filled sump, into the forward operating base the military had set up in Chamber 3.

    The water was rising up the cave wall, and Rob returned through the rapidly filling S-bend, so he wouldn't get trapped without diving gear. The SEALs and other Thais inside hurried to clear Chamber 3.

    By the time John and Rick had their tanks and masks on, the lowest point of the cave had fully flooded. They dived into the sump and laid a line back through as a guide, securing their exit in case conditions worsened. The 4-millimetre-thick polypropylene material was similar to nylon but non-absorbent, with neutral buoyancy and strong when wet. It was the first in a series of guide lines through the cave that would come to play a crucial role in the diving operation.


    PHOTO: Rescue teams search for the missing boys. (AP: Tham Luang Rescue Operation Centre)

    "We stopped that night, because it was very clear the cave was flooding," John said.

    The British divers emerged after midnight, re-joining Vern and Rob on the other side of the flooded dip. As they walked out, Vern predicted the cave would flood to the entrance in about four hours. It did exactly that, prompting an urgent evacuation of everyone inside the cave.


    'This is surreal'

    Earlier, before dawn that Wednesday, Major Charles Hodges got a call from his director of operations. They were stationed on the Okinawa military base, as part of the US Indo-Pacific Command.

    "Awesome," he thought. "That's exactly the type of mission that we want to be called up for."

    Into the cave

    Cave diving is perilous at the best of times but finding and freeing the 12 Thai boys and their football coach from Tham Luang posed extreme challenges.

    Hours later, a team of about 30 personnel from the Special Tactics Squadron at the Japanese base were loading up an MC-130 transport plane.

    The Americans arrived at Tham Luang about 1am on Thursday and immediately assessed the situation, walking in as far as the floodwaters would allow.

    "So we go into the cave, and it was completely dark. I'm walking in thinking this is so surreal," Captain Jessica Tait, an Air Force public affairs officer, told Four Corners. She would become the face of the US mission over the coming days.

    "It's so dark. A few of us had headlamps. I did not, so I'm trying to tag along as close as I can to some of the other members of the team.

    "But I could just sense, like, oh my gosh, there's 12 children and a coach in here, and I'm just in the entrance way and I'm spooked out."

    Hunger, darkness and fear

    The team's coach, Ek, was also starting to get spooked by the grim situation they found themselves in.

    "The most worrying things for us were the darkness, the water and hunger. The water kept rising all the time. The darkness limited our awareness of whether we could survive in this shelter. Hunger was a big obstacle. When everyone was so hungry, it could cause conflict with each other."

    Then a dark thought entered his mind.

    "Imagine if all this led to eating your friends, eating your own people."

    He laughed at the paranoia that had seeped into the dank cave. It must never come to that. They knew someone was looking for them, they just had to be patient and stay alive.


    More frustration for the Brits

    The British team dragged their jetlagged bodies back to the cave about 10am on Thursday to try again.

    One thing about their appearance immediately stood out: the inner tube that Rick wore as a buoyancy device. He called it his "lucky wing". It had been part of his kit on several successful rescues and had become something of a lucky talisman, as well as an in-joke.

    But to anyone who didn't know these cavers, it may have branded them as amateurs. (When another diver saw it his first thought was: "These guys are going to get themselves killed.")

    That morning, it was a struggle for Rick and John to even get into the water. They had already been delayed once, when they were asked to move their air compressor away from a building in which meetings were being held. They'd just set it up again, when the compressor fell silent. It was out of petrol.



    PHOTO: John Volanthen, centre, and Richard Stanton talk to rescue team personnel in Thailand. (AP: Sakchai Lalit)


    It was a frustrating moment. These divers had pulled off some of the toughest cave rescues in history and had flown across the world to help, only to be thwarted by a few litres of gas.

    Everyone around them looked busy and nobody seemed to care. But then a man wearing a yellow nametag ? discreetly marking him as a representative of the King ? approached to ask if they needed anything. A supply run to a local petrol station was arranged.

    Rick and John finally dived into the first murky pool about 11am. There were now three separate flooded sections before Chamber 3 ? a 15-metre sump, another about 10 metres long and the S-bend, which now involved about five metres of diving.

    The water was pulsating, the result of it being forced with considerable pressure through narrow passages and into more open "swirl chambers" like Chamber 3, creating thrumming eddies as it continued to rise.


    PHOTO: 3D Graphic of Tham Luang cave system in Thailand, where a soccer team is trapped. (ABC News)

    Finally, movement in the dark

    The British divers surfaced and in the darkness they sensed movement. For a moment they thought they'd found the Wild Boars.

    But as their lights focused, they were astonished to find four men ? Thais from one of the pumping teams. They'd been working in the cave for two days and on Wednesday had decided to take a nap in a quiet corner of the large sandy chamber.

    <<snipped>>

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    continued ...



    PHOTO: Thai soldiers wrestle with pipes used to get water out of the cave. (AP: Sakchai Lalit)

    "When I woke up I thought to myself, 'Why is the cave half-flooded?' So I ran out to look towards the entrance," said Surapin Chaichompoo, the president of the Thai Well Water Association, in an interview later.

    "I looked back and ran to the high mound where we were sleeping. It turned out everyone had gone and it was only the four of us left. I told my guys, 'Wake up, wake up'."

    Somehow, in the rushed evacuation, nobody had noticed the missing men.

    They spent the night inside Chamber 3, hoping that the water level would go down and they could escape. On Thursday morning, the men heard clanking sounds from the water. Surapin threw a rock towards the sound, trying to attract attention.

    The clanking got louder but there was no human response. So he threw another rock. Then he saw torchlight under the water and the divers surfaced.

    The foreigners were stunned.

    "OK, oh my god," one said, according to Surapin.

    Rescuing the rescuers

    The British divers had to temporarily abandon their search for the Wild Boars while they rescued the rescuers.

    They took it in turns. "I put one guy under my arm and then essentially dragged them out through one sump," said John, "then returned with my mask and Rick and I swapped."

    The Thais tried to assist, swimming in the right direction, as the British divers held them with one hand while the other hand felt along the line they had installed the previous evening. But any movement by the men was counterproductive.

    "We both realised how difficult it was to do that [even] with people who were trying to help, over a short sump," said John.

    It took up precious time, but they had no choice ? these, too, were lives that needed saving.

    Military hushes up the rescue

    Bizarrely, the Thai military initially tried to deny the incident, even to the divers who had just experienced it.

    "They categorically said, 'That didn't happen'," recalled John.

    It was only later, when the American military backed the British divers' story and brought over a senior military man to hear the details, that the Thai top brass begrudgingly admitted that the impromptu rescue had in fact taken place.

    For the four members of the pumping team, there was no doubt about the role John and Rick had played.

    "I really owe my life to these two divers," said Surapin.

    "You have to understand that these foreigners have a bit of crazy in them. They like to do crazy things. But they are very good at diving."

    One of Surapin's colleagues said the close call had a lasting impact: "If you want me to go up a tree, I'll go up a tree ? but no caves any more, they're scary."

  24. #49
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    https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/28/asia/...ntl/index.html

    A Thai Navy SEAL has died from an infection he contracted during the daring rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand last year.
    The Thai Royal Navy confirmed the death of Petty Officer Beirut Pakbara in a statement Friday.

    "Mourning Sergeant Major Beirut Pakbara, the hero of the cave who passed away. The Royal Thai Navy would like to express our deepest condolences to Beirut's family," the statement read.

    Beirut contracted a blood infection during the rescue operation at Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand. He had been seeking medical treatment over the past year, but his condition worsened after the infection got into his bloodstream, according to Thai Royal Navy.

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