Saturday, July 07, 2018

Hoping for Miracles of Divine Intervention  RESCUED!

"Inside the cave is tough. I can guarantee that we will not panic, we will not stop our mission, we will not let the sacrifice of our friend [Saman Gunan, volunteer ex Thai Navy SEAL delivering supplies underwater to the children and their rescuers who drowned from lack of oxygen in the flooded passageway on Friday] go to waste."
"We can no longer wait for all conditions [to be ready] because circumstances are pressuring us."
"We originally thought the boys can stay safe inside the cave for quite some time, but circumstances have changed. We have limited amount of time."
Thai SEAL commander Rear Adm. Arpakorn Yookongkaew
Hundreds of rescuers with equipment continue the rescue operation at the Tham Luang Nang Non cave on July 6.

"It's very likely that while the boys were in the cave but not yet discovered by rescuers that they experienced various degrees of anxiety, fear, confusion, vulnerability and dependency, and perhaps hopelessness."
"Being discovered was a moment of elation. But that is now followed by the reality that a difficult technical rescue might be necessary, which caries with it disappointment for the boys and a new set of fears."
Paul Auerback, Department of Emergency Medicine, medical school, Stanford University

On the plus side in this situation in Mae Sai, Thailand, the 25-year-old coach of the Wild Boars soccer team, who led a dozen of the team's players ranging in age from 11 to 16 into the now-monsoon-flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave, Ekapol Chanthawong, had extensive training as a Buddhist monk where meditation, calm and humour were the elements that buoyed his elevation into the monkhood.

Under his tutelage, his calming presence and spiritual sensibilities in a society that venerates those elements of the human character that are the most reflective of the divine, videos taken from within the cave show the now-thin and weak boys in good spirits, laughing at jokes, smiling for the camera. The days'-long consultations of experts in the field of cave rescue has vacillated between swift extraction and the patience it would take for the flood waters to subside.

Both options are rife with danger.

thailandcave0407aa.jpg
The teammates have sent letters to their parents telling them 'don't worry'   AP

The passage through the flooded caverns and narrow passageways is a three-hour excursion each way presenting dangers of negotiation challenging those considered expert divers; to attempt to 'teach' the thirteen stranded people who have no idea even how to swim, how to navigate those waters in wetsuits and breathing apparatus goes beyond any ordinary challenge. Yet to wait out the floods means the potential that with ongoing monsoon weather the floodwaters might rise even higher.

And now, new challenges; oxygen is running out; the ambient oxygen in the chamber is being used at a much faster rate than previously, given the appearance of rescuers, the medical personnel, the providers of supplies coming and going. And for two of the smaller boys -- should the immediate extraction option be chosen in fear of rising floodwaters and oxygen depletion be chosen -- no wet suits small enough to fit them can be found.

Divers may be forced by all these circumstances to make the attempt to guide the boys to dive and manage their way through the complex route of narrow passageways; that fraught and dangerous route whose threats are enough to faze even expert divers with ample experience. The death of one of the divers can be seen as a reminder of just how dangerous that passage through the complicated cave system is for trained adults, professional cave divers.

"If we think the big rain is coming then we will have to get them out", repeated Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, of the boys he claims are in good health and have gained confidence in practising wearing diving masks and breathing, to prepare them for the possibility of diving.

Divine intervention? Perhaps, but it is the focus of the world on the courage, skill and determination of the rescuers that have managed to rescue four of the boys from the possibility of a watery grave, brought them safely out, and prepare now to continue their rescue of the remainder of the boys and their coach, to bring this mind-gripping issue to its conclusion...
A graphic showing how divers would bring the boys out A graphic showing how divers would bring the boys outA graphic showing how divers would bring the boys out

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