Thai cave rescue: ex-Navy SEAL says ‘kids will die’ if they’re forced to dive out of cave
THAI authorities continue to race against the clock to rescue 12 young boys and their coach trapped in a cave but former Navy SEAL Cade Courtley warned officials of fatalities if the group is forced to dive through the cavern.
The Thai football team went missing during a school trip on June 23 after flash flooding into the Tham Luang Nang None cave in northern Thailand.
Rescue divers incredibly found all 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach and began to race against time to pull the whole group out of the flooded cavern.
Former Navy SEAL Cade Courtley warned authorities in Thailand to abandon plans to teach the group to dive through the cave, suggesting attempts to leave that way could result in death.
Speaking to CNN, Mr Courtley said: “If you are going to ask an 11-year-old to make a dive that a former Navy SEAL specialised in diving would have a challenge making but some of this kids are going to die in an effort to try and bring them out using dive equipment.”
Thai Cave Rescue: Ex Navy SEAL Cade Courtley predicted fatalities if the Thai soccer team dives
Mr Courtley said that despite his experience he would also struggle to make the dive, insisting the children would meet inevitable problems.
The children are currently being taught how to use SCUBA diving gear but according to local media, none of the 12 children can swim.
The former Navi SEAL continued: “When I was a SEAL I was part of a very special dive unit. I have thousands of hours underwater during operations, with zero visibility, limited to no space.
“If they can’t figure out a way to divert, dam and shore up any additional water from entering a cave entrance, and utilise some of the pumps that we have in this world…
“If we can’t to that in 2018 and we are saying diving is our best option, that’s a problem.”
He added: “Now, I’m in Colorado and it’s easy for me to say. If they are not having that discussion in Thailand, we have a problem.”
The three-hour swim is challenging even for the two British divers who found them, who are among the best in the world.
Those who are making their way in and out to see the boys are being left with cuts and bruises as they navigate the dark, narrow tunnels.
However, it might be the only option to get the boys out before more water floods in.
Ruengrit Changkwanyuen, a coordinator of the international cave diving team that located the boys on Monday night, said the boys are on high ground and safe from flash flooding.
Mr Changkwanyuen said: “But rescuers have to work quickly because by Friday a storm is coming, and if the rain starts again the cave is going to be fully flooded.”