Free Press Journal

Thai cave rescue: A miraculous rescue

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AFP PHOTO / ROYAL THAI NAVY / Handout

Miracles do happen, don’t they? One such the world witnessed in northern Thailand when a young football team of boys between 11 and 16 along with their 25-year-old coach found itself trapped deep inside a cave in shoulder-high rain waters but was most miraculously saved by a daring rescue act undertaken by a multinational task force of specialist cave divers. As the world sat on the edge, glued to the television screens following the travails of the trapped and the rescuers, to the utter relief and disbelief of everyone the boys and the coach were brought out alive and well in three batches over three days.

Barring the unfortunate death of one of the cavers, who ran out of oxygen in the suffocating cave two-plus miles deep from the ground clearance, there were no casualties. How the boys who did not know swimming, never mind underwater diving, survived on water from stalactite formations for more than a fortnight speaks of an extraordinary resilience, determination and sheer hope. They never gave up. Nor did the Thai authorities who did not hesitate to seek help from experts from various countries to mount a death-defying rescue mission in the face of adverse weather conditions with further rains threatening to submerge the fragile ledge where the boys had taken shelter from rising waters. As one of the rescuers wondered, we do not know who to credit: modern science or miracle? Maybe both.