Thailand Cave Rescue

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by scubachap, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. scubachap macrumors member

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    #1
    Like many people I've been following this story and there's been the terribly sad news this morning that Saman Kunan (an ex. Thai Navy Seal) died while, from what I can tell, staging tanks for the rescue operation.

    I think his death underlies just how risky this whole operation is and how much respect should be paid to everyone who's involved.

    If you haven't seen it there's here is a very good graphic on the BBC site which shows the scale of the challenge ahead. Good luck to everyone involved and I hope the boys are got out safely and there's no more accidents...


    [​IMG]
     
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #2
    Elon Musk has apparently also offered his help, since he has his digging company.

    One has to wonder how many more has to die, to get those kids out.
     
  3. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #3
    As a scuba diver, let me tell you - cave diving is a whole different beast. Navy SEALs are trained for a lot of things, but cave diving isn't one of them. This is technical diving to the max. Staging bottles, multiple mixed gases (wrong bottle at the wrong time - you're dead), long decompression stops, taking your gear off and pushing it through the crevasse ahead of you. And this isn't pool water. Where the cave narrows, the currents will be strong and if you stir up the bottom your visibility will go to zero. Oh, and once you start, you are on the clock for how much air you have on you and there is no way to bail out in the middle.

    Now picture doing that in and out 13 times towing someone who can't swim. And if by some miracle they do get out, the kids will probably be put in a deco chamber to treat for Caission's Disease (decompression sickness).

    If anyone in the world needs prayers right now - it's these kids.
     
  4. koa macrumors 6502

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    #4
    It’s relatively shallow with part of the passage dry or partly flooded. I doubt any mixed gas air needs to be used. Also doubt kids or divers will be deep enough or for long enough to require any decompressing. It’s still going to be extremely dangerous getting those kids out underwater. Unconfirmed report says that's what they are about to do.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/l...clouds-could-force-quick-rescue-decision-live

    I’d say keeping the kids calm since many can’t swim and will have an extreme fear of water to begin with will be difficult. Hopefully their full face masks won’t develop a leak etc. They probably won’t be able to communicate with rescue divers while underwater. Visibility is poor and water is cold.
     
  5. scubachap thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Yes, it's difficult to tell what's underwater and what isn't. Looks a lot like UK sump diving and some of the squeezes on that map look horrible to me. Ugh.
     
  6. lifeaquatic macrumors newbie

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    #6
    I was a pretty good cold water diver back in the 70's and 80's so I have an idea of what is going on in this cave, but only a glimmer. The survey map is super helpful Does anyone know the temperatures of the water along the route to the boys' location? And is the route more or less horizontal or does it slope downwards or what?
     
  7. StarShot macrumors 6502a

    StarShot

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    #7
     
  8. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #8
    It reminds me of the miners a few years back.

    The sad part is that most of these kids can't swim at all, let alone dive.

    I hope they will all make it out soon and in good health.
     
  9. koa macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I read somewhere that the water temp was “freezing”. Not sure what that means or why it was described that way. Even if it’s in high 60s F, the kids will be really cold. Can’t imagine they will have perfect fitting wetsuits. Boots, gloves and a hood will help. I’d get cold in upper 70 degree water with full custom wetsuit after several hours. I think terrain is all over the place, mostly sloping downward as you work your way in. Not sure if rain that caused flooding also brought in debris, partially blocking areas. I’ve been following BBC news and The Guardian. The link in my previous post is for The Guardian. They have people on site doing live updates.
     
  10. lifeaquatic macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Thanks Koa, I'll look at those.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 6, 2018 ---
    I keep thinking about how the kids and the coach are going to be able to handle the stress of going out. According to an article in New York Times today, it takes the professional divers about 6 hours to reach the kids from the initial entry and that it really tests their considerable skills to keep things under control. So guiding/towing/pushing a person who doesn't swim and has zero experience of diving or the neessary equipment? Yikes. Darkness/no visibility and cold water and currents. There is a very good chance of panic on the part of the rescuee -- a panicked diver is almost impossible to help. Yikes. However, those kids did actually climb/hike/squeeze through passageways to get to their ledge. So maybe getting in will help them get out.
     
  11. AsherN macrumors 6502

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    #11
    When I took my scuba course, I was already very comfortable in water, had done a lot of snorkeling, was a certified lifeguard and competitive swimmer. And the first time I was sitting at the bottom of the pool with a tank, I had to really think about taking that first breath. I can't imagine doing it in the dark with no experience in water.
     
  12. koa macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Being comfortable in the water is so important. My friend and I were certified when we were in high school back in the sixties. We were use to fighting each other in our pools, holding each other underwater until one of us gave up. Later we did commercial fishing (reef fish)/diving. Probably spent years of my life underwater. At least half a dozen guys I knew have died diving and many more paralyzed from being bent. All competent divers, some pushing the limits, some unlucky. I haven’t done much cave diving and nothing I would consider dangerous or freaky like Thailand. I have done lots of night dives, plus most of my diving over the years has been by myself. So I try not to screw up too badly.
     
  13. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #13
    In my mind you run a steel cable the whole way, anchored with appropriate standoffs from the wall where needed, and then they harness up a kid and tether the kid to the line and escort one at a time with the pro divers. I imagine this would increase safety by preventing people from getting lost in zero visibility or being swept away by currents.

    Of course I have zero knowledge of the difficulties involved and it's easy for me to say anything from my office chair. So maybe it's a really dumb idea and I just have no understanding of why.
     
  14. brentcgillard macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I need to start by admitting that I have no experience in cave rescue whatsoever, I just had an thought I wanted to throw out there.

    I am wondering if it would be possible to engineer a rigid tube to span the ranges along the exit path blocked by water.

    I am envisioning something almost like an enclosed water slide tube that could be desigend and created piece by piece with a 3D printer on site at the cave.

    Rather than dive under water, once the tube system was constructed, the trapped victims could simply crawl from air pocket to air pocket until they were free.

    Is the idea of building a few kilometres of custom tube too far fetched? Or could this possibly be the solution to save the children and couch trapped in Thialand?

    Hey
     
  15. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #15
    It’s astonishing that they found the kids relatively safe in the cave to begin with. I thought that outcome would be a lot worse. Now it’s a race against the clock before the monsoon begins. If they don’t get them out soon it’s 3 months.
     
  16. koa macrumors 6502

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  17. nnoble macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I’ve lost all appetite for work or World Cup until this is over. Would give all for a positive outcome.
     
  18. dannyyankou macrumors 604

    dannyyankou

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    #18
    The first 4 kids have been rescued, possibly 6. Amazing story, but they’re only halfway done.
     
  19. mollyc macrumors 65816

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    #19
    I honestly don’t understand how they got there in the first place. Did they really walk that far in unguided? And crawled through portions?
     
  20. dannyyankou macrumors 604

    dannyyankou

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    #20
    From my understanding, they were exploring the cave and got blocked in by flash flooding.
     
  21. scubachap, Jul 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018

    scubachap thread starter macrumors member

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    #21
    Link here to the Guardian rolling report. Apparently there's 90 divers involved!

    Sounds like the water level has dropped. (Perhaps through all the pumping?)

    Great job.

    As an aside I'd read that the coach / boys had been to caves before a few times (and sort of knew them) but had been caught out by rapidly rising water levels as mentioned above? Also if it floods quickly it can block previously passable areas with debris.
     
  22. nnoble macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Disgraceful attempt by Trump to try and claim credit on Twitter: #ThaiCaveRescue. What a jerk.
     
  23. SoggyCheese macrumors 6502

    SoggyCheese

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    #23
    I’ve never done cave diving, but have penetrated plenty of shipwrecks in my time. There’s another dimension of danger to scuba when the option to just go up (slowly obviously) is taken out of the equation. Talking to some of my more tech diving friends I’m just so impressed by the bravery of all involved in this operation, plus of course the kids for taking the option of diving out when they have no experience of what that entails. 4 out now, let’s hope the rest of the trips go as well and without incident.
     
  24. lifeaquatic macrumors newbie

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    #24
    The rescuers must be doing an incredible job of building the boys' confidence, reassuring them, enlisting their cooperation, etc. I still don't have a sense for how physically and psychologically sound the coach and the kids are, but each one must be highly motivated to get out by now, so that should help the kids to be able to withstand the stress. I just read that each rescued kid had two divers attending to him on the way out -- and that the diver/s had the boy positioned so that the rescuer held the boy close to his body on his underside, because of course the diver has tanks on his back. Come to think of it, the boy must be strapped in some way to the diver, because the diver needs his arms and hands. (just speculating here) Imagine the transitions from water to dry areas where they have to walk or crawl, then back into the water. And then there are the passages that are so narrow, the tanks have to come off. More equipment adaptations. Six hours of that and the divers already spent 6 hours getting all the way in. What a bunch of heroes! What brave boys!
     
  25. koa macrumors 6502

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    #25

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