12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in flooded cave are found alive: debate begins on how to get them out

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jserraglio
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12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in flooded cave are found alive: debate begins on how to get them out

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:13 pm

NYT — THAM LUANG CAVE, Thailand — The British diver John Volanthen was placing guide lines to try to get closer to 12 missing boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave network when he ran out of line himself, forcing him to the water’s surface.
There they were, all 13, staring at him through the light of his headlamp. After 10 days of efforts racing against monsoon rains and rising water in the cave, the search for the missing soccer team had finally succeeded.
If his line had been even 15 feet shorter, he would have turned back and not reached them on that dive Monday night. The group would have spent at least another night on its own in the pitch black, not knowing if a rescue would ever come.
“Literally, he finished his line, stuck the line reel in the mud, and they were looking down,” Vernon Unsworth, his friend and fellow cave explorer, said Tuesday.
Youth Soccer Team Found in Cave in Thailand
With the search officially turning to a rescue operation on Tuesday, the main question now has been the best way, and the best time, to get the boys and their coach out of the cave.
Capt. Anand Surawan of the Thai Navy raised the possibility that, under the worst-case scenario, the 13 would be in the cave for four months until the end of the rainy season.
“I was surprised myself,” said Supanat Danansilakura, chief of public relations for the Royal Thai Navy. “Four months?”
Others argued that it would be hard on the boys and dangerous to leave them in the cave for so long, even if they had light, food and other supplies. They could be injured or risk infection and be harmed psychologically by a prolonged stay in such an environment.
The fact that officials and relatives of the boys were able to even discuss the best way to extract them is itself remarkable.
The boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach disappeared into Tham Luang Cave on June 23 after a Saturday soccer practice. Heavy rain then began to fall, and water rose in the cave complex, blocking their exit.
“When we first discussed this mission, we said right away this mission is impossible,” said the governor of Chiang Rai Province, Narongsak Osottanakorn, who is overseeing the search and rescue operation. “In English, it will be mission impossible, like the movie. But the SEALs were very confident in their ability, and they told us they would bring the boys out.”
The Thai government mounted a huge rescue operation and sent scores of divers into the cave to try to reach the area where the boys were believed to be. A top official said they would spare no expense.
A country that often appears divided between the rural poor and the urban elite found itself united by the hope of finding the missing boys. King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun took a personal interest in the search, sending kitchen trucks to feed the search crews and raincoats to protect them from the downpour.
Half a dozen countries sent teams to help, including the United States, whose team of 30 included 17 Air Force search-and-rescue specialists.
Relatives of the missing spent much of the 10 days of the search waiting for news in plastic chairs under a temporary awning near the operation’s command center.
They jumped and shouted with glee on Monday night when they heard that the group had been found. By then, Thai officials had moved the relatives indoors to a private area, and the throng of journalists covering the search have mostly been kept from speaking to them.
Tham Luang Cave has been a daunting challenge. The seven-mile-long cave system is simple enough to hike and climb through during the dry season. But in the rainy season — in theory from July to November — the complex can fill with water, submerging many of its passageways.
Divers finally had a breakthrough, literally, when they chipped away at rocks and enlarged a passageway that had been too small to pass through while wearing an air tank.
Once they had created a large enough opening, they were able to push on to where they suspected the group was, roughly three miles from the cave entrance.
Mr. Volanthen and Rick Stanton, both civilian British divers, happened to be in the lead Monday night, laying the guide ropes that divers can use to pass through the murky or turbulent water.
It was when Mr. Volanthen ran out of line and surfaced that he saw the group of scrawny boys, some sitting, some standing, on a shelf above the water line.
He was relieved to find all of them alive. The boys were excited about the prospect of food.
“Eat, eat, eat,” one of the boys called out.
The two divers set up a pair of dive lights to illuminate the cave, no doubt the first light the group had seen in days.
It was the first of many deliveries of needed supplies, including food and medicine, over the next 24 hours.
“At the beginning, we had only hearts and manpower,” the governor said. “Lately we have all the resources. Even though we are tired and weary, we are fully equipped.”
Medical teams were giving the group high-protein food to help them regain their strength. And they were assessing how soon the trapped team would be in shape to move out of the cave.
Mr. Unsworth, a caver from Britain who lives nearby and has been exploring Tham Luang Cave for more than six years, said it would be far better for the boys to be taken out immediately by experienced cave divers than to be forced to wait for months.
“It is just the logistical thing of how to get them out, because they have never dived before,” he said. “They will have to learn very quickly, like in the next few hours. If not today, it could be tomorrow.”
He said the boys could use full face masks so they would not have to learn how to breathe through a demand valve, which most divers use.
Thai Navy SEAL divers and other experienced cave divers participating in the rescue should be able to take them safely through the cave system’s flooded passageways, he said.
Leaving them underground until the end of the rainy season, he said, “is not an option.”
.
Last edited by jserraglio on Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

jbuck919
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Re: 12 teens and their coach trapped in flooded cave are found alive: debate begins on how to get them out

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:19 pm

The US has few things left to be proud of. If the Navy SEALS cannot get them out, then nobody can. Let's just hope that Trump keeps his hands off the operation. (Don't blame me. I'm not the one who made the good seem bad and vice versa because of extreme politics.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: 12 teens and their coach trapped in flooded cave are found alive: debate begins on how to get them out

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:33 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:19 pm
The US has few things left to be proud of. If the Navy SEALS cannot get them out, then nobody can. Let's just hope that Trump keeps his hands off the operation. (Don't blame me. I'm not the one who made the good seem bad and vice versa because of extreme politics.)
Uh-uh, not the born-on-the-Fourth-of-July Navy SEALS in this instance (good as they are), but the Thai Royal Navy SEALS. And who were the first cave divers Thailand turned to to lead the s & r effort? The very best in the world at this type of rescue? You guessed it, the Brits, as you can clearly hear in this video of the actual moment of discovery. The Americans did send a team of 30, including Air Force search and rescue experts, to help, though.



Newly released video clips shot by a Thai Navy SEAL member show the 12 boys and their soccer coach in the cave, looking skinny but seemingly healthy and in good spirits. Those new videoa are all hyperlinked in this Wednesday NYT story:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/04/worl ... dates.html
The New York Times on the 4th of July wrote:Dinko Novosel, the president of the European Cave Rescue Association, said he was confident that the rescue effort in Tham Luang Cave would succeed because the British divers involved are world-renowned specialists. “The British are best when there’s water in a cave,” he said in a telephone interview from Croatia.
Image
The insignia of the Thai Navy SEALs, etched onto a rock in the cavern the boys are trapped in.

jserraglio
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Re: 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in flooded cave are found alive: debate begins on how to get them out

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:24 am

Thailand cave rescue: how to get them out?


jserraglio
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Re: 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in flooded cave are found alive: debate begins on how to get them out

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:06 pm

MPR News update — Heavy rains forecast for northern Thailand could worsen flooding in a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach are waiting to be extracted by rescuers, possibly forcing authorities to have them swim out through a narrow, underwater passage in the cavern, a top official said Tuesday.

The 13, who disappeared when flooding trapped them in the cave they were exploring on June 23 after a soccer game, were found by rescue divers late Monday night in the cavern in northern Chiang Rai province during a desperate search. The effort drew international help and has riveted Thailand.

The boys, aged 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach were described as healthy and being looked after by seven members of the Thai navy SEALs, including medics, who were staying with them inside the cave. They were mostly in stable condition and have received high-protein drinks.

While efforts to pump out floodwaters are continuing, it's clear that some areas of the sprawling cavern cannot be drained, said Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, a member of Thailand's ruling military junta. In order to get them out ahead of the bad weather forecast for later in the week, they might need to use diving gear while being guided by professional divers, he said.

Anupong said the boys would be brought out via the same complicated route through which their rescuers entered, and he conceded that if something went awry, it could be disastrous.

"Diving is not easy. For people who have never done it, it will be difficult, unlike diving in a swimming pool, because the cave's features have small channels," he said. "If something happens midway, it could be life-threatening."

Video released by the Thai navy showed the boys in their soccer uniforms sitting in a dry area inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave above the water as a light held by a rescuer was shone on their faces.

Cave rescue experts have said it could be safer to simply supply them where they are for now, rather than trying to have the boys dive out. That could take months, however, given that Thailand's rainy season typically lasts through October.

SEAL commander Rear Adm. Arpakorn Yookongkaew said there was no rush to bring them out, since they're safe where they are.

A doctor and a nurse were with them in the cave.

"We have given the boys food, starting from easily digested and high-powered food with enough minerals," Arpakorn told a news conference.

Having them dive out of the cave was one of several options being considered, "but if we are using this plan, we have to be certain that it will work and have to have a drill to make sure that it's 100 percent safe," he said.

Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said the health of the boys and coach were checked using a field assessment in which red is critical condition, yellow is serious and green is stable.

"We found that most of the boys are in green condition," he said. "Maybe some of the boys have injuries or light injuries and would be categorized as yellow condition. But no one is in red condition."

Relatives keeping vigil at the mouth of the cave since the ordeal began rejoiced at the news that their boys and their coach had been found.

"I want to give him a hug. I miss him very much," said Tham Chanthawong, an aunt of the coach. "In these 10 days, how many million seconds have there been? I've missed him every second."

Rescue divers had spent much of Monday making preparations for a final push to locate them, efforts that had been hampered by flooding that made it difficult to move through the tight passageways of muddy water.

Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, two expert cave divers from Britain, found the group about 300-400 meters (yards) past a section of the cave on higher ground that was believed to be where they might have taken shelter.

In the 5-minute navy video, the boys were seen wearing their soccer uniforms and were calm, curious and polite. They also were keen to get some food.

After an initial exchange in which a rescuer determines that all 13 are present, one of the boys asked what day it was, and a rescuer replied: "Monday. Monday. You have been here -- 10 days."

The rescuer told them "you are very strong." The traditional reserve of Thai children toward adults broke slightly after a while, and one boy told another in Thai, "Tell them we are hungry."

"We haven't eaten," a boy said in Thai, then in English: "We have to eat, eat, eat!"

A rescuer assured them that "navy SEALs will come tomorrow, with food and doctors and everything." At the end of the video, a boy asked in English, "Where do you come from?" The rescue diver replied, "England, UK."

Besides the protein drink, Narongsak said they were given painkillers and antibiotics, which doctors had advised as a precaution.

He said officials had met and agreed on the need to "ensure 100 percent safety for the boys when we bring them out."

"We worked so hard to find them and we will not lose them," he said.

Cave diver Ben Reymenants, part of the team assisting the rescue effort, told NBC's "Today" show that he was "very surprised obviously that they are all alive and actually mentally also healthy."

While they appear responsive, "they are very weak and very skinny," he added.

Reymenants said the easiest option would be to "keep pumping the water out of the cave. They need another 3 or 4 feet so they can literally float them out with life jackets."

"But time is not on their side," he noted, because of the heavy rain forecast.

He added that two Thai navy doctors have volunteered to stay with them for months, if needed.

The British Cave Rescue Council, which has members taking part in the operation , said in a statement that "although water levels have dropped, the diving conditions remain difficult and any attempt to dive the boys and their coach out will not be taken lightly because there are significant technical challenges and risks to consider."

Joining the British are other experts from around the world and teams from the U.S., Australia, China and elsewhere.

Authorities said efforts would continue outside the cave, where teams have been scouring the mountainside for other entrances to the caverns. Several fissures have been found and teams have explored some, although so far, none lead to the trapped boys.

Belle
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Re: 12 teens and their coach trapped in flooded cave are found alive: debate begins on how to get them out

Post by Belle » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:26 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:19 pm
The US has few things left to be proud of. If the Navy SEALS cannot get them out, then nobody can. Let's just hope that Trump keeps his hands off the operation. (Don't blame me. I'm not the one who made the good seem bad and vice versa because of extreme politics.)
Your wonderful country has SO MUCH to be proud of. Long may it continue!!

jbuck919
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Re: 12 teens and their coach trapped in flooded cave are found alive: debate begins on how to get them out

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:12 pm

Belle wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:26 pm
jbuck919 wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:19 pm
The US has few things left to be proud of. If the Navy SEALS cannot get them out, then nobody can. Let's just hope that Trump keeps his hands off the operation. (Don't blame me. I'm not the one who made the good seem bad and vice versa because of extreme politics.)
Your wonderful country has SO MUCH to be proud of. Long may it continue!!
It has been a long time since I have been proud of my country. The things that we might be proud of have, for now most of my life, been few and far between. I can remember as a child watching Lyndon Johnson sign the Medicare Act, in case you're wondering what I mean. Am I proud that the Grand Canyon is in the US? Well, are you proud that Uluru is in Australia? Yet I have heard people say that an accident of geology is something to be proud of. In terms of human accomplishment, I will tell a story. The White House during the Truman administration was all but condemned as unfit for human habitation and had to be shelled and re-built from the inside out. An engineer said that it was standing up "purely out of habit," and anything decent about the US at this point in time is continuing at best for the same reason.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Belle
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Re: 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in flooded cave are found alive: debate begins on how to get them out

Post by Belle » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:30 am

I'm glad I'm alive now, having been able to take advantage of baby-boomer growth in prosperity and, apart from the Cold War, relative peace and security. This tells some of the story:

https://ourworldindata.org/global-education-slides

And I throw this into the mix:

Does diminishing dynamism signal death of the American Dream?
PHILIP ALDRICK The Australian July 5, 2018
America is losing its edge. For all its giant scale and all the dominance of its multinational companies, the secret of its success has been to embrace the small. The US is the world’s biggest start-up nation, a country that evangelises the geeks in their garages. What is the American Dream without entrepreneurial self-belief, after all?

The death of the American Dream has been called too many times to count but, statistically, this time there might be proof. Start-ups are on the wane and, as their number dwindles, so too does the hope that anyone can make it from rags to riches. Since the 1980s the rate of new company formation has fallen by 40 per cent. A sector that employed a fifth of the workforce 30 years ago, and accounted for 70 per cent of gross job creation between 1992 and 2011, now employs a tenth. Big business is picking up the slack.

The collapse has led to a bout of national soul-searching. Joseph Schumpeter’s doctrine of “creative destruction”, which holds that weak companies should make way for the strong, runs in the blood of American capitalism. The corporate churn when incumbents are replaced by innovative newcomers is widely regarded as a driving force behind America’s post-war surge.

Today “the dynamism of the US economy has diminished”, Janet Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chairwoman, said last week. Joseph Stiglitz, a former World Bank chief economist, put it another way. “The American Dream is really a myth. We like to think of our economy as being dynamic, new people creating new firms. The data says we are becoming less dynamic.”

The concerns are more than ideological. Economists give business dynamism much of the credit for the US’s historically strong productivity. With no growth in productivity, there would be no improvement in living standards.

Yet there is magic within productivity as well. When economists measure productivity, they can work out how much of the growth is related to investment in labour and how much to capital. Usually, though, that leaves a bit that cannot be explained. This mysterious remainder, known as the Solow residual, reflects the power of ideas and innovation. In the US, a big part of that is believed to be down to business dynamism.

Start-ups can innovate and test ideas in a way that big business cannot. Take financial services. The cutting-edge work is not found inside the banks. It is being done by the army of fintech firms, operating with fewer regulatory burdens and no legacy customers. They can be nimble where the incumbents can’t. Letting incumbents die is part of the process.

“As labour and capital are freed to flow from the least to the most productive firms, productivity, wages, and overall economic growth increase,” Patrick Harker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, said in March. Only it’s not happening. In recent years, fewer companies have been born than died, which means start-ups have been shrinking as a share of America’s business universe.

Since 2014 studies have shown a link between the slowdown in dynamism and softening productivity growth. The fear is that as the dominance of big companies rises, innovation will decline, taking productivity, wages and living standards with it. In the US big business does not invest, in relative terms, as much as younger firms. Big companies are more likely to improve profits by restraining wages than by raising productivity, and sharing the proceeds.

Business dynamism is not just about tech companies, it can be about the “mom and pop” stores that keep larger rivals on their toes from one town to the next. It’s about keeping that fundamental tenet of capitalism — competition — alive and well.

Yellen admits that she cannot confidently explain the slowdown. Others have tried. Harker reckons thousands of regulatory changes have raised barriers. Stiglitz blames the banks for preferring to structure toxic products than fulfil their “core mission to provide finance for new enterprises”.

He’s not alone. Others point to tax breaks since the 1990s that have favoured big business and weak competition policy that tends to permit even the largest mergers. Education isn’t helping either. In 1992, 4 per cent of graduates were entrepreneurs by the time they were 54. Last year it was 2.2 per cent.

But nobody really knows why fewer people want to reshape the economic landscape. Surprisingly, low interest rates are not mentioned in the US literature. Britain’s version of the problem, “zombie companies” which soak up capital that ought to be seeding tomorrow’s firms, is blamed on cheap credit that keeps the zombies on life support. Let them die and the money will find a new home, the thinking goes. Perhaps America is more preoccupied with the creative side of Schumpeter’s “creative destruction”. If so, it’s a hope.

The Times

jserraglio
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Re: 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in flooded cave are found alive: debate begins on how to get them out

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:56 am

The Guardian — Live feed 10 hrs ago — We are now into the third day since the boys were located in the cave in northern Thailand.

The boys are still trapped in the cave, but now have foil blankets, food, light, medical care and seven navy divers – including medics – to keep them company.

Rescue efforts, which involve multiple international teams and hundreds of people, are proceeding on three separate fronts.

Plan A is to teach the boys to dive so that they can dive out of the cave escorted by navy divers, and the governor reported that the boys have begun doing practice dives in the cave.

Plan B is to drain the cave system so that the children can walk out of the caves wearing life jackets meaning they don’t need to dive.

Authorities have announced they have reduced the water levels in the first section of the cave – a 1.5km stretch from the entrance to a point they are calling chamber three – by 40%. It is now possible to walk through the water up to chamber three.

Plan C is to drill down to the cave where the boys are stranded and rescue them that way. The governor earlier ruled out drilling as an option because the boys are between 800m and 1km below the surface and in a confined space, so it was not thought to be safe.

Monsoon rains are expected to arrive over the weekend. If they arrive before the boys have been freed, rising water levels could means the boys are trapped in the cave and cut off from supplies and communication for four months.

Chiang Rai provincial governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said they were in a “race against time” and were evaluating risk levels to assess when they should evacuate rescue teams, given the predicted rainfall later this week.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tv30_Ycj4mI


jserraglio
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Re: 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in flooded cave are found alive: debate begins on how to get them out

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:07 am

Bill Whitehouse, British Cave Rescue Council, explains the rescue options.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44720785

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