Saving children from a cave in Thailand: Chronology of events
So far, 12 children and their 25-year-old coach, rescued from a cave complex Tham Luang continue rehabilitation constantly pop up more and more new details of what happened during the time of their disappearance…
June 23 to 12 players a children’s football team “Moo Pa” aged 11 to 16 years with 25-year-old coach Ekapolom Chantavongom (Ekaphol Chantawong) went to the cave of Tham Luang. Athletes have gone deep, when the cave was dry. Sudden onset of rain flooded the aisles, and to be saved from the flood waters, the players had to go farther and farther away from the entrance.
In the evening of the same day, the employees of the National Park found 12 bicycles and a motorcycle at the entrance to the cave. None of them came into contact, in addition, young football players did not warn parents about campaign. In the local football club confirmed that transport belongs to missing children and coach. On the same evening, the parents of athletes appealed to the police, and on the night of June 24 began searching.
Start of rescue operation
Having learned about what happened, the authorities of Thailand were immediately sent to search for missing children several hundred swimmers of Thai Navy and professional divers. Dozens of volunteers from different countries also joined them. Meanwhile, the water level in the cave increased, the passages were flooded. Rescuers expect to find football players in a giant chamber “Pattaya beach”, which is above the remaining caves cameras and is not flooded in the rainy season.
To facilitate searches and increase the chances of salvation of victims, rescuers with heavy duty pumps began to pump water. And in order to download oxygen in the cave, special pipes suspended to dry plots. When divers found that on the last passage before “Beach Pattaya” Water reached the Cave village, Hope to find adolescent almost left almost left. With relatives of the missing children settled near the cave entrance, psychologists and Buddhist monks began to work.
However, searches in continuous mode continued. In addition, divers and combat swimmers from the United Kingdom and the United States came to the rescue. July 2, British divers John Vanten and Rick Stanton discovered missing on an elevation of 4 kilometers from the cave entrance.
All 12 adolescents and their coach, who spent 10 days in imprisonment by this time were alive. Weakened and exhausted football players lost their bills, but did not give in to panic. The British were able to explain with the victims only thanks to the 14-year-old Amulya Samu: He only spoke in English from the whole team.
Keeping the vigor of the spirit of teenagers helped coach Ekapol Changtavong, who lived 10 years in the Buddhist monastery and returned to a secular life for the care of a sick grandmother. When Changtavong realized that the water flooded the passage and cut off the opposite way, he gave her food to the children and began to teach their meditation and maintaining energy. He did not allow children to drink dirty rainwater filling the cave. And to quench thirst, the football players collected a condensation moisture, dripping off the walls.
The coach blamed himself for led the wards in the cave in the rainy season, and was very depressed, while the children smiled found their divers. Footballers wrote a letter to their relatives and passed through rescuers to the surface: the guys dreamed of delicious food and asked teachers not to give them many tasks, and Chantavong asked for their parents for forgiveness. The victims hoped that the next day would come out of the cave, but they had to wait another week.
Plans to save the victims
Rescuers delivered football players food, blankets and oxygen cylinders. By this time they had several plans to save victims, but the implementation of any plan was conjured with the threat of life to the footballers. Initially, experts believed that the safer to leave children and coaches in the cave until October, when the rainy season ends and the water level will drop. It was assumed that during this time, divers will supply them food and oxygen. Also, engineers were planned to hold electricity to the cave and set a telephone connection so that the victims could communicate with their relatives at any time. But the oxygen concentration in the cave approached the critical mark, and the water level, despite the continuous operation of the pumps, continued to rise. Head of rescue operation Naronzhsak Oratankorn gave an order to act immediately, but there was still no solutions to the problem of the rescue.
Many divers believed that it was necessary to teach children underwater swimming, but the latter grew up in the mountainous area and did not know how to stay on the water at all. Swang was to be against a strong current in zero-visibility conditions, and it is hard even to professionals: every time the divers walked to football players for 5-6 hours.
On July 6, the rescuers began preparatory work in the cave for the withdrawal of children, and on the same day the tragedy happened. Diver Volunteer Sama Ganin, a former employee of the Navy Thailand, arranged oxygen cylinders on the path of evacuation. When Gunan returned to the exit, he ended with oxygen in the cylinder, and the former military lost consciousness. The partner tried to give Gunan to the first help and pulled his minded body from the cave, but outside the physicians stated the death of the diver. During the day to the death of Ganinan recorded a video in which he promised to return all the children home.
He was only 38 years old. On the Daiver page in the social network, people from all over the world expressed condolences. Rescuers, the starting tragedy convinced that the children were extremely dangerous to bring children on flooded corridors.
Another possible solution to the problem was drilling through holes in the cave, and the victims were planned to pull out on the ropes. Speletologists warned that the cave can collapse, and rescuers excluded this method.
For the help of young athletes, the famous Billionaper Ilon Mask came to the rescue. In the shortest possible time, engineers of one of his companies collected from the parts of the Falcon carrier rocket 9 capsule for transporting children by flooded cave corridors.
Mask flew to Thailand and delivered the capsule himself to the place of increment. The inventor also suggested another two options for salvation of victims. His plans included the creation of an underwater tunnel from a nylon pipe 4 kilometer long or drilling tunnel in a rock using high technologies, allowing to determine the exact location of children. However, Oratankorn refused to help the mask, referring to the fact that the rescuers do not have time for experiments. Mask left a capsule in Thailand and accused Oratankorn in incompetence.
The last stage of the rescue operation
To the heroic death of Samana Hunan was not in vain, the rescuers decided to return to the first version. And, while Ilon Mask developed high-tech equipment and argued with a naradentiary with osteatancorn, professionals were urgently taught teenagers diving basics.
The weather contributed to the implementation of the Salvation Plan: July 7, the amount of precipitation significantly decreased. The water level in the cave has dropped 30 centimeters, visibility improved, and loose. July 8, 90 divers started the fulfillment of a complex rescue operation. It was decided to bring the first most weak children. For convenience, along the entire path of evacuation, cables stretched so that the children could hold for them. Young athletes dressed in light diving costumes and gave them masks fully closing face. Children began to go out one by one, accompanied by two divers.
On the route, dry plots were replaced by flooded, they swore sharply into steep slopes, but it was especially difficult to pass the middle of the route – a very narrow tunnel turned out to be completely under water. In the fully flooded corridors, one diver sailed ahead, led to his teenager and carried his oxygen cylinder, and the other was accompanied from behind.
In wide dry passes, where it was necessary to move on foot, a cable stretched over the ceiling, and hung the stretcher on it, on which children were drove – the victims were too weak to go on their own.
In the evening of July 8, rescuers managed to bring four athletes from the cave: Monhkhol Bunpryam, Pradzhaka Suthama, Nattavuta Thakamsai and Pipat Bodhu. Children with suspected lung inflammation were immediately delivered by helicopter in Chiangra Hospital. The next day brought the second four. One of the teenagers sharply fell a pulse, but the doctors managed to improve his well-being. The cave remained four of the most strong guys led by coach Ekapol Changtavong. Late on the evening of July 10, Changtavong, who was in serious condition, launched from the cave. The most difficult operation in modern history was completed successfully.
Young athletes return to normal life
In the hospital, a whole floor was allocated to the chant for the victims, and the attending physician flew to them from Australia. For a whole week, children have to spend on quarantine: native allowed to see them only through the glass. All those saved made vaccinations from tetanus and rabies, but doctors fear that the athletes could infected infection from bats or through dirty water that they drank for 18 days. While they have to wear sunglasses, because the eyes of the sunshine from sunlight.
Children themselves argue that they feel good: they independently move and eat ordinary food. Thanks to intense training, young football players turned out to be incredibly endless and lost only 2-3 kilograms. Contrary to forecasts of specialists, signs of psychological injury from any of them found. Athletes will not wait as soon as possible to resume training.
Young athletes said that they were going to note in the cave of the 17th anniversary of the oldest player – Piarapat Sumpiangia. Meal, intended for a festive picnic, Ecapol Chantavong divided equally between all the guys.
Many accuse the coach in irresponsibility, but parents of saved children believe that everyone survived precisely thanks to him. Moreover, Thailand’s legislation does not provide for a mandatory search for those perpetrators in each incident. Now the young coach is still weak, but his life does not threaten anything.
When the football players were found, President of FIFA Gianni infantino wrote a letter to the Thailand Football Association and personally invited children to the final of the World Cup in Moscow. He expressed the hope that by this time the victims will return home and can travel. However, the state of the health of young athletes does not yet allow them to leave the hospital, and they will not be able to use the invitation. Infantino promised that in the near future will send them to another event. But ours and fans from other countries brought souvenirs to Thailand with the symbolism of the championship and transferred them to children.