The Heroes of the Thai Cave Rescue
February 11, 2019 4:06 AM   Subscribe

Into the dark: The inside story of an improbable team of divers, a near-impossible plan and the rescue of 12 boys from a Thai cave. [Previously, previouslier]
posted by ellieBOA (11 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
This reminded me a lot of Apollo 13 and The Martian - a very difficult, very technical rescue mission that had never been done before.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:07 AM on February 11


What a read and what amazing teamwork from a wide assortment of men! I kept holding my own breath.
posted by kimberussell at 6:19 AM on February 11


I followed this really closely when it happened. The writers were really cooking with this one. Great stuff!
posted by Melismata at 7:39 AM on February 11


Did Musk ever have to pay a settlement for slandering that one diver who disparaged his Batcapsule plan?
posted by thelonius at 7:59 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


Wow, this is amazing. I remember that when it took place, I thought that anesthetizing the boys was an outlandish idea because of how delicate a business anesthesia is. But they found the one man on earth who could make the right plan.

thelonius, I can't find that he has. The diver sued, Musk moved to dismiss, and there's a hearing scheduled for April. As I read this article, the divers' horror and apprehension at the idea of sedating the boys themselves and the care that they showed to each one made that remark even more disgusting to me.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:32 AM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Wow, this is amazing. I remember that when it took place, I thought that anesthetizing the boys was an outlandish idea because of how delicate a business anesthesia is. But they found the one man on earth who could make the right plan.

When I heard that they'd be dragged for hours under water, I was personally terrified, as if somehow I could find myself in their situation... the terror would be so real that I was relieved when I heard about the anesthesia.

This article was a remarkable read for the perspective that the divers felt that they had such a small probability of success, or that the boys would have a pretty low survival rate - and yet they knocked it out of the park. Pretty amazing.
posted by entropone at 8:46 AM on February 11 [6 favorites]


I still can't believe there was only one fatality in this rescue, and that one a diver. I really didn't think there was going to be a way to avoid tragedy. An incredible performance.
posted by thelonius at 9:49 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Nice find. What an amazing story.
posted by j_curiouser at 5:34 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Wow, I found the photo of the monks with the giant portrait of the dead diver to be really touching. Such care and veneration taken with his likeness. I was deeply moved by this.
posted by hippybear at 8:49 PM on February 11


Ketamine: a horse tranquilizer

CROWD: Horse tranquilizers?

/BrainCandy
posted by hippybear at 9:16 PM on February 11


I followed this story as it was developing, but didn't get too interested because (like many others) I figured it would not end well. I did take notice of the fact that the leader of the rescue attempt was an anesthesiologist. As an anesthesiologist who scuba dives myself (although none of that cave diving for me; strictly open water) I know that the two disciplines go well together. Diving medicine, the related altitude medicine, and anesthesiology all involve knowing what happens to various dissolved gasses in the body. One of the big names in dive medicine, Peter Bennett, was on the faculty of the anesthesiology department at Duke for many years, and anesthesiologist Tom Hornbein is a well recognized expert on high-altitude medicine (not to mention pioneering mountaineer). But it wasn't until I saw the episode of Nova on the rescue that I realized how it had happened. The next day I shared the story with the other anesthesiologists at work and we were all dumbfounded at both the audacity of the plan and its success.

As someone with 30 years experience knocking people out and waking them up again, I have to say ketamine is really the only choice for something like this. Using intramuscular ketamine to subdue a recalcitrant patient is common enough that it is nicknamed an anesta-dart in the hospital. Unlike other sedatives ketamine has minimal effects on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, meaning that (especially in young healthy patients) you are unlikely to have to intervene to support these vital functions. Still, whenever I have done this it has been in a hospital with plenty of trained medical personnel and equipment. I can't imagine doing it in a flooded cave with only a pulse oximeter for monitoring and no help available for much of the process. Clearly they planned well and deserve all the praise they get.
posted by TedW at 8:09 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]


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