Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Young Thai Soccer Players in a Cave Saga

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

The ordeal was watched closely by the world.  12 boys, soccer players, and their coach, were trapped in a cave, and the only way to get them out was through the bravery of Thai Navy SEALs as they braved the way through a harrowing underwater pathway with each of the rescuees.

The soccer team had been trapped for nearly three weeks.  Alone.  In the dark. Away from loved ones.  Frightened, but resilient.

The team, boys between the ages of 11 and 16 were greeted by relatives after the ordeal from the other side of a glass barrier.  The health status of the boys and their coach still is a concern, and is under careful evaluation.  They are wearing special clothing and being kept from having direct contact with the outside world, for the moment, to protect against the chance of infection.

Doctors say three of the boys are being treated for minor cases of pneumonia, but predict most of them should be discharged after about a week.  Reports claim that while they are in good condition, each lost an average of two kilograms (4.4 pounds) in weight during their time in the cave.  The coach, a twenty-five year old former monk, has been praised for taking care of the kids during the ordeal.  The children hadn't eaten any food in the nine days before they were found, and drank murky water from inside the cave, which saved them.  

"Some have had muscle infections, cold, flu, and some psychologists have been taking care of them to relieve stress," Health Ministry Inspector Lertvirairatanapong said.

As for the Thai Navy SEALs, the praise has been incredible, since the rescue literally set a new standard for difficult rescues.
"The complexity, scale and risk of the operation was unprecedented," Glen McEwen, Australian Federal Police manager for Asia said at a press conference Wednesday.

During the roughly nine-hour rescue operation, the boys were underwater for four to six hours with one SEAL beside each one, and another trailing behind.  The oxygen tanks for the boys were carried by the divers.  Parts of the journey, especially the first kilometer, were harrowing to say the least, with some of the spots being so narrow that the divers had to remove their tanks and push them through with their bodies squeezing through behind the tank.

Once through the first part of the journey, another team took over, with parts of the rescue simply being on foot.

The reasoning behind them going into the caves in the first place, especially during monsoon season (and considering there are signs warning about the dangers of going into the caves during the rainy season), is still unknown.  The coach will likely clear that up once all of the health dangers have passed, and the media can get their claws into him.

President Trump congratulated the brave Thai Navy SEALs with a tweet . . .
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. Such a beautiful moment - all freed, great job!

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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