In the world of news, we get so caught up in all the bad that we hear during the day that we tend not to shed light on the good. Over the past 18 days, the world has been on an emotional roller coaster, intent on hearing news of the rescue of 12 Thai soccer players and their coach who became trapped deep in a cave in the southern region of Thailand.
It took over 2 and 1/2 weeks, 18 divers (most of which who were foreigners), Thai Navy Seal officers, and engineers from all over the world, meticulously planning a way to save all the boys lives.
The chief of the operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, seemed to be in shock as he spoke at the packed press conference after the rescue.
“We have done something that no one expected that we could complete,” he said. “It was an impossible mission.”
Just to give you a little bit of perspective into the difficulty of their task, this was a cave that was known to have side routes and dead ends, as well as on-going flooding during the summer time. In order to just find the soccer team itself, it took the divers a week & that wasn’t the hardest part.
With the flood levels rising in the caves, it made it even more difficult to devise a plan to rescue the team, as a majority of the boys didn’t know how to swim.
It was a mix of trial and error that forced experts, engineers, and divers to get creative. They even consulted the real-life Tony Stark in Elon Musk and he and his team at SpaceX, who created mini-submarines to help the boys get transported. While that idea never ended up getting used in the rescue process, their solution was a much simpler one.
Teach the boys swimming.
4 Divers (2 of which were the British divers who discovered them), A Thai Official and a Navy Seal Doctor stayed with the boys in order to help nurse them back to health with a high protein diet, round the clock checkups and training on swimming and scuba diving gear.
The process to get to them out was equalling as grueling. It took over 3 days to get every single person out alive, with it taking about 4 hours to get one boy out of the cave. 8 Boys were rescued on Sunday & Monday and taken to a hospital in Chia Riang and quarantined, in order to be assessed for infection. 5 others joined them on Tuesday, including their Head Coach, 25-year old, Ekkapol Chantawong. Now while Ekkapol was helping the boys survive by conserving their energy during the first 10 days of their miraculous story, the world was watching intently.
Mae Sei, the Abbot at Ekkapol’s temple spoke on how the world was reacting over the past 18 years.
“I’m so happy, but it’s not just for Ek and the team,” he said. “The whole world has been watching over these 18 days and they are celebrating with us.”
He’s right. While the world was busy watching the FIFA World Cup. While we were busy wondering how Meghan Markle’s dress looked in her latest appearance as freshly minted royalty. As wars continue to ravage through nations (like Thailand), trade embargoes are placed between countries and the United States separates children from their parents in their apparent ‘immigration’ crisis … the world still somehow came together to ensure that the boys saw rescue.
If there is one thing this extraordinary story teaches us; it’s that when the world puts their efforts together, miracles can happen.