The Rescue

We watched The Rescue recently (on Disney+). It describes the daring rescue of the Thai soccer team trapped deep within a flooded cave in Northern Thailand in 2018.

In one word, the documentary is incredible. A must-watch. Over the course of the 2 hours, I was struck by the…

…courage and compassion of the cave divers who chose to transform from hobbyists to heroes. A special hat tip to John Volanthen and Richard Stanton for their exceptional leadership.

…bravery and cooperation among the Thai Navy seals, the American army, the cave divers, and the thousands of volunteers who showed up to help.

…ingenuity of the human mind. As an example, the network of dams and equipment rigged up to drain water from the caves made the rescue possible.

…thoughtfulness and commitment of the Australian doctor cum cave diver (Dr Harris) whose expertise made the final rescue possible. The boys had to be sedated by his fellow cave divers for the rescue. And, even though he hated the plan, he realized that it was the only one that had a chance of working.

Thai cave rescue: how the 12 boys finally escaped the cave - Vox

…importance of risks, leaps of faith, and luck in any challenging endeavor.

I could go on.

But, amongst the many amazing moments, there was one that stood out. After rescuing 8 boys in the first 2 days, the rains arrived again on the night before the third day. This downpour made for very unsafe diving conditions.

So, the pre-dive briefing in the morning understandably involved folks asking the “should we be going in” question. At the same time, a few of the others felt postponing could be fatal. So, before the discussion could further, that group just walked toward the cave. Everybody else followed.

That turned out to be an important moment as the downpour never stopped. It was eight months before the cave became accessible again.