Showing posts with label Rescue Divers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rescue Divers. Show all posts

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Miracle of 'Wild Boars' rescue transforms Thai cave into tourist draw

Tourists snap selfies by a bronze statue of the diver who died trying to save the 'Wild Boars' football team from a flooded cave, while momentos from their rescue fly off the shelves -- scooped up by the 1.3 million people who have descended on a once serene mountainside in northern Thailand.

"It's amazing what happened here. I followed everything from Australia," tourist John McGowan told AFP after taking photos at the visitor centre around 100 metres from the Tham Luang cave entrance.

"I wanted to see it with my own eyes," the 60-year-old said, adding he was a little disappointed the cave is still off limits to visitors.

For a few dollars tourists can get framed photos at the site, pick up posters of the footballers and take home a souvenir t-shirt  -- some printed with the face of Saman Gunan the Thai diver who died in the bid to save the group.

There has been extraordinary global interest in the picturesque rural backwater of Mae Sai since 12 youngsters -- aged between 11 and 16 -- and their coach entered the Tham Luang cave on June 23, 2018.

They quickly became trapped by rising water levels and the daring, unprecedented mission to extract them through twisting flooded passageways captivated the world for 18 nail-biting days.

When they emerged -- after being heavily sedated and manoeuvered out by expert divers -- they did so into the centre of a global media frenzy.

The cave, which previously received around 5,000 visitors a year, has since been inundated by visitors both Thai and foreign.

"A miracle has happened here with these children," Singaporean tourist Cheong, giving one name, said but adding Tham Luang "must still have a spiritual side" despite the mass popularity.

                            Dating with thai girls
- Tragedy and luck -

Mae Sai district, where the cave is located, was considered off the beaten track for foreign visitors. 

But between October 2018 and April this year alone "1.3 million people visited," site manager Kawee Prasomphol told AFP.

The government now has big plans for the area around the storied cave, Kawee added, allocating a total of 50 million baht ($1.6 million) including a shopping complex, restaurants, hotels and several campsites outside the national park.

Vans disgorge streams of tourists who explore a visitor hub where the centrepiece is a mural entitled "The Heroes".

It depicts the young footballers, stars of the rescue, and junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha -- a reminder of the governmental fingerprints in aiding their cause.

At the heart of the mural is the beaming face of Saman Gunan, the Thai Navy SEAL diver who ran out off oxygen attempting to establish an air line to the children and their coach -- the only fatality across the near three-week rescue mission. 

Laying white flowers at the foot of his bronze statue, Thai nurse Sumalee, who travelled four hours to the site, described him as "the hero of the whole country" in a sobering reminder of the risks involved in the rescue amid the blizzard of marketing opportunities now attached to the cave story. 

Nearby lottery ticket vendors are capitalising on the perceived good fortune linked to the boys' survival and the folkloric appeal of a nearby shrine. The number of stalls has mushroomed from a few dozen to around 250. 

Kraingkrai Kamsuwan, 60, who moved his stall to the site weeks after the rescue, sells 4,000 tickets a month ($2.5) but reckons more will visitors will arrive once the cave reopens. 
He told AFP: "People want to gamble after wishing for luck from the shrine."

Source - TheJakartaPost

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

#ThaiCaveRescue: Mission in third day to extract remaining four members of football team and their coach from a cave in northern Thailand

All 12 boys and their coach out of flooded cave system, Thai navy Seals confirm

All 12 of the "Wild Boars" academy team and their 25-year-old coach have now been rescued from the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand, Thai Navy Seals confirm.

Four of the players and their coach have escaped on an extended operation on the third day of the rescue mission.

Final Wild Boar leaves the cave

An Australian doctor, who has been providing medical checks before the boys start their journey, and four Thai navy Seals are yet to come out of the caves.

The group were stuck in the cave since June 23 and under went a 4km long journey to escape.
The four boys and their coach who were rescued today are being taken to Chiang Rai Hospital for medical treatment.

Source -TheNation /

#Thailand - Mission Day 3 begins to evacuate final five

Efforts resumed on Tuesday morning to evacuate the remaining five Mu Pa Academy football club members from Tham Luang Cave in the hope of bringing them all to safety within hours, the mission chief said.

Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters the operation started at 10.08am with 19 divers assigned to extract four young footballers and their 25-year-old assistant coach, Ekkapon Chantawong.

He said they got an earlier start than on the previous two rescue days, Sunday and Monday, and felt confident in the experience gained.

Despite rain overnight, the water level inside the cave was similar to that of Monday, Narongsak said.

Also to be brought out on Tuesday were the physician and three Navy SEAL divers who had stayed with the remaining footballers on the Noen Nom Sao ledge where they’d been found stranded.

Flash flooding trapped the group in the cave on June 23, sparking a multinational rescue mission that had to overcome numerous difficulties, including strong currents of murky water submerging sections of the cave.

A pair of British cave divers found them on July 2, alive but exha
usted on a sandy ledge above the water level.

Their state of health posed a further challenge to the rescue effort, as did the surging water levels and rough subterranean terrain.

Narongsak decided on Sunday to launch the rescue operation after being assured the water had receded and the boys’ health was improving thanks to nourishment given them by the SEALs team.

Narongsak said two of the boys evacuated on Sunday emerged with lung infections, but their condition was improving with doses of antibiotics.

The eight boys undergoing treatment at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital were in general good health, both physically and mentally, he said.

One of them has low body temperature after spending days in the cold cave but is also improving.

Source - TheNation

Thailand - Four more boys brought out of tham luang cave on 2nd successful day.

AS THE WORLD watches with awe, the dramatic rescue of the 12 boys and their football coach from Tham Luang cave, is unfolding successfully by the hour.

As of yesterday, at least eight of the 13 have been evacuated from the flooded Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province and they are now being observed at Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital. 

The decision to evacuate the stranded 13 was made on Sunday morning and by evening four of the boys had been rescued, taking advantage of a window of opportunity. The mission plunged into the task again yesterday and managed to pull another four out by evening. Rescuers are planning to save all the remaining footballers from the Chiang Rai cave before the monsoon rains unleash their full wrath.

 The drama began 17 days ago as the assistant football coach of a local football team, Mu Pa Academy Mae Sai, and 12 team members visited the mountainous region on June 23. The 13 got stranded deep in the Tham Luang cave following sudden flash floods. The children are aged between 11 and 16 years old and their coach is 25. The muddy floodwaters, the pitch darkness and thin air inside the cave hampered initial rescue efforts. The desperate rescue operation expanded rapidly as numerous rescue workers, the Royal Thai Navy’s SEALs, academics, many organisations in Thailand, and foreign experts, joined the rescue operation.

Since June 30, the floodwater level inside the cave has begun subsiding significantly thanks to the deployment of powerful pumps, diversion of water, and the gesture of farmers in the vicinity to let their fields be flooded in order to drain water from the cave.

 On July 2, foreign divers found all 13 Mu Pa members alive at a dry spot about 5 kilometres from the cave’s entrance. 

Serious preparations for their removal began, including a crash course in diving for the stranded survivors, with evacuations finally kicking off on Sunday. 

Foreign diving specialists and Thai SEALs have already successfully helped at least eight footballers brave through perilous narrow passages and tunnels in the cave, with two divers escorting each of the evacuees. 

Some flooded passages within the cave are reportedly less than 40 centimetres wide, making it impossible to pass through with an oxygen tank on the back. Buoyed by Sunday’s success, the same diving evacuation team launched the second phase of the operations at about 11am yesterday. 

Former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who heads the rescue-operations command, said the divers were sufficiently rested and oxygen tanks had been replaced along their route by the support team. 

Narongsak said yesterday afternoon that the prospects for their mission were looking good. “The conditions [yesterday] are as great as on Sunday, with regard to the floodwater level, the amount of air, and the strength of the Mu Pa team members,” he said. 

Although it has been raining in Chiang Rai province over the past few days, the floodwater level is still manageable. 

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department’s deputy director-general Kobchai Boonyaorana said that the floodwater level inside the cave was even lower. 

“There is some rain. But water drainage at the cave has gone as well as planned,” he said. At present authorities have not revealed the identities of the evacuees out of concern for the feelings of parents whose boys are yet to come out. Narongsak only confirmed that the first four evacuees from the cave were in good physical condition. 

An ambulance exits from the Tham Luang cave area as rescue operations continue for those still trapped inside the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province yesterday. 

While the rescue efforts have achieved incredible success, they have been beset by one fatality. Former SEAL, Petty Officer First Class Samarn Kunun, 38, died during the rescue operation last week.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who headed to Chiang Rai last night to view the progress, said HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn had provided assistance to Samarn’s family. Prayut said the King had also emphasised that the family of the deceased should receive good care from relevant organisations. 

Source - TheNation