This is the astonishing moment a cave rescuer had to be saved himself after taking a wrong turn and being washed away in a flood.
Danish Claus Rasmussen, 45, who took part in the cave rescue of 12 trapped youngsters last month, and Singaporean Seetoh Yiyu, 37, were driving to Phuket in the south of Thailand when their car’s GPS went haywire.
The pair found themselves getting lost down a remote country road in the Thung Yai district, Nakhon Si Thammarat, before a flash flood swept them into a canal Thursday afternoon.
Both men had to climb onto the roof of the white pick-up truck which was seen floating downstream in the fast-flowing water.
They were stranded on the roof for several hours as they waited desperately for help to arrive.
Rescue workers arrived and hauled the men to safety in a boat before using a rope to drag their stricken vehicle to safety just after nightfall at around 8pm.
Claus, who helped British divers during the cave rescue of the young football team, told officials that he had been giving a scuba diving teaching course in the area before heading home.
He said: ‘We took a different route because of the rain and bypassed one flooded road. Then we were hit by the water. I’m thankful to all the people who saved us.’
Lieutenant Sutham Jimkwan from Thung Yai Police Station said more than 100 rescuers, soldiers and local residents were involved in rescuing the men.
He said: ‘I was told by the Chang Phuak Rescue Foundation that foreigners were trapped in floods by the palm groves.
‘At the scene there were many villagers walking through the water to reach the place where the men were trapped.’
Lieutenant Sutham said that the men had been standing on the roof of their car for several hours before help arrived.
He added: ‘Without specialist tools the rescue was difficult and it took two hours and involved reinforcements from the military.’
The men were successfully rescued and posed for photographs with locals before continuing their journey.
All 12 youth football players and their coach trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks were rescued last month – in an astonishing against-the-odds mission that captivated the world.
In the end, a team of specialist divers, lead by British experts and Thai Navy SEALs, entered the cave and ‘effectively pulled’ the boys through several miles of water-filled tunnels one by one – despite many of them not knowing how to swim.
Announcing the completion of the operation, rescue chief and Chiang Rai acting Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn praised the efforts of the international team, declaring that the success had been down to the ‘power of love’.
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