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12 boys lost in flooded Thai cave

Discussion in 'Search & Rescue' started by Dogbowl, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: East of Woodstock, West of Vietnam
    Re now underlined above, although they may be a few kilometers in, as someone else here has expressed, the sumps are not themselves very long, but yes they (or at least one, is tight), all are zero vis and none are a place to be 'cept for those very very stout of heart.

    So a BIG congrats / WELL DONE to all concerned, especially to the push divers.

    But still a long way out to go.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
    Jack Hammer and chillyinCanada like this.
  2. npole

    npole Contributor

    Unfortunately, according to the authorities, the water level is raising even now that there's no (or light) rain, probably to the terrain releasing the water into the cave and the rainy season is long to finish.
    While staying there for months is technically possible (food, electricity, whatever...), I don't see them accepting the risk of having that chamber flooded and have to hurry in a extreme attempt, with more meters underwater or worse have no more possibilities to escape.
    So I don't think they will "sit" there for 4 months hoping for the best, the priority IMO is to take them out asap whatever is the risk.
  3. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    Uh, agreed but not with "whatever the risk".
  4. UFOrb

    UFOrb Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Brighton, UK
    The rescue divers described the dive as “gnarly” even with all their experience. So to try to get 13 tired, hungry, zero-experience guys out safely using Scuba will obviously be extremely dangerous, but may end up being the only option, other than waiting for months, with all the potential issues associated with that, including a risk of water levels rising further with the worst of the monsoon rains still to come.
    The divers described fighting against a strong current to get there so at least they’ll be with the current on the way out.
    Massive respect to all involved with this search & rescue attempt!!!
    Bierstadt and chillyinCanada like this.
  5. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    There must be a massive move of sanitization equipment too. Once they start eating again, they'll start, uh, going again. I wonder what the temperature is in there?
  6. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

  7. Miyaru

    Miyaru Tec Instructor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: below sea level
    The Thai word for scubadiving is nam dam, literally translated black water.
    The majority of the Thai people cannot swim, it's not taught in school. Diving is for the majority a horrifying activity, as expressed in their own language.

    Harrison Okene, the cook who survived 60 hours in an air pocket, was rescued from the wreck using a KM helmet and umbilical, in a man-made structure that allowed a human to pass, despite debris. But a shipwreck is nothing like a narrow cave restriction with currents in zero visibility.

    I sincerely hope that if diving out is the only successful option, all of them will survive this agonizing tough challenge.
    chillyinCanada and Lorenzoid like this.
  8. npole

    npole Contributor

    It's a risky situation, you won't come out of there without risks, so you gonna accept the lower risk whatever it is: it can be objectively high, but still better than anything worse.
    I'm not a rescuer so I don't have their skill to evaluate the options, but the logic suggest that you want them out of there, as soon they have regained enough energies, before the situation can possibly precipitate.
  9. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    But one of the first rules of rescue is to not become a victim. So "whatever the risk" doesn't make sense; but certainly there is no way out without risk. Diving them out is hugely risky, leaving them for up to 4 months (when it may flood further) is hugely risky. The rescuers will have to accept risks on their part, and on the boys part. But it shouldn't be "whatever the risks".

    So what do people think about full face masks? The articles I've read was so it was less likely that they would lose their gear. (I am not a cave diver, or anything close...nor do I use a full face mask.) My understanding is when a full face mask floods, it is a lot to deal with, as it involves switching to a backup mask, and your octo. Is that really a better solution than a regular mask and regulator? Or is it highly likely to lose a mask or kick out a regulator in tight situations like this, but rare to have a full face mask come off or flood?
    YankBoffin likes this.
  10. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    I just saw this statement in an article:

    "...Divers said the temperature in the cave was a about 26 degrees (79 F), with water dripping from the walls, meaning the children were unlikely to have experienced dehydration and hypothermia..."

    I was surprised to learn that the temperature was so warm underground, is this cave part of a volcanic system or hot spring?

    I am sure that NASA has had to deal with "long term, small environment" sanitation issues for the International Space Station so they may be able to advise or assist. I suppose that they will just have to bag it and store it somehow.

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