Author Topic: 12 soccer players and their coach found in Thailand cave  (Read 345 times)

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Offline Omni

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12 soccer players and their coach found in Thailand cave
« on: July 02, 2018, 11:15:41 pm »
Now if ever I had a story to fuel my fear and claustrophobia revved up it would be what I recently heard about this story. They just said there are essentially two choices for them:

1- send in people to teach them how to use dive gear and to work their way out of these pitch dark caves so they could swim their way out, which could take ~4 months or,

2-bring food supplies into keep them going until the rains subside and the caves drain so they can work their way out without having to don dive gear, and that could take as long.

And the overarching problem is that if the rains increase the caves could flood entirely.

I feel for these people. I hope it works out.

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Offline ?Impact

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Glad they have been found. It sounds like the caves are fairly long, and they are miles from the entrance. Flooding is common in monsoon season (June-October) so they have a long wait for the waters to recede.

I think the bigger problem with teaching them to swim and dive is getting them comfortable in the long, dark, and disorienting path they need to follow. It would be interesting to know what is the longest swim they would need to make, how long and narrow the passages are, and especially how deep. Flood waters also move mud and rocks around and further complicate things.

You missed one other alternative, and that is to create a new cave entrance closer to their location, but this is not without risk and will also take some time.

I am trying to see if there are any maps of this cave system available. I haven't found much so far, probably the best one is here.


Offline Omni

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Glad they have been found. It sounds like the caves are fairly long, and they are miles from the entrance. Flooding is common in monsoon season (June-October) so they have a long wait for the waters to recede.

I think the bigger problem with teaching them to swim and dive is getting them comfortable in the long, dark, and disorienting path they need to follow. It would be interesting to know what is the longest swim they would need to make, how long and narrow the passages are, and especially how deep. Flood waters also move mud and rocks around and further complicate things.

You missed one other alternative, and that is to create a new cave entrance closer to their location, but this is not without risk and will also take some time.

I am trying to see if there are any maps of this cave system available. I haven't found much so far, probably the best one is here.

I was also thinking about looking up a map but haven't done so yet, I was wondering if there was a possibility of drilling down to them from the surface and lifting them out through the bore hole.

Offline ?Impact

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The Shepton Mallet Caving Club out of the UK appears to have a good website covering caves in Thailand. They do some surveys, but have noted that there is a large margin of error so would not be suitable to use for drilling. You can find some information on the Tham Luang caving complex in the Chiang Rai province there.

Offline SirJohn

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Most of them can't swim. It seems to me that the solution would be to stick them in a waterproof bag along with an air canister and pull them out.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline Omni

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The Shepton Mallet Caving Club out of the UK appears to have a good website covering caves in Thailand. They do some surveys, but have noted that there is a large margin of error so would not be suitable to use for drilling. You can find some information on the Tham Luang caving complex in the Chiang Rai province there.

Thanks for the links, I will look them over a bit later.

Offline ?Impact

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Most of them can't swim. It seems to me that the solution would be to stick them in a waterproof bag along with an air canister and pull them out.

I was thinking about that as well. There might be many complications that would rule that out like negotiating narrow sections, and the length of the underwater journey alone would be problematic, and the risk of a bag catching on or possibly tearing would need to be considered. Note that the bag would continue to inflate* as it filled with air unless they had some kind of valve that would bleed out the old air. This also gets back to my earlier question on depth of the water as a flexible membrane offers zero protection from water pressure.

*I just did some quick calculations on volume of air your would breath. If you were able to keep the kid perfectly calm then then about the volume of your average family refrigerator per hour would be breathed, so if it took a few hours to negotiate the passage you would get an idea how large the bag would inflate to. If the kid was moving, or worse started to panic, then that would increase 3-6 times.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 12:10:11 pm by ?Impact »

Offline wilber

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They would need to have neutral or negative buoyancy to avoid being jammed against the cave roof. Problematic if they were in some sort of bag. Better to get them used to a full face mask in the dark and weight them to achieve the required buoyancy. No doubt they have run lines between the open parts of the cave. Once the kids have become acclimatized, hook each kid to the line so he can't get lost and accompany him out with a couple of divers. That's my thought.
"Never trust a man without a single redeeming vice" WSC

Offline Omni

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They would need to have neutral or negative buoyancy to avoid being jammed against the cave roof. Problematic if they were in some sort of bag. Better to get them used to a full face mask in the dark and weight them to achieve the required buoyancy. No doubt they have run lines between the open parts of the cave. Once the kids have become acclimatized, hook each kid to the line so he can't get lost and accompany him out with a couple of divers. That's my thought.

I heard an interview with one of the divers who was on the rescue team that found them. He was saying that it usually takes a while to get people trained to do that sort of diving and that the one big fear is that if the rain keeps on coming  the water level continuing to rise could cause a premature forced evacuation. Haven't checked the wx there but here's fingers xed the sun comes out. 

Offline wilber

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Itís early in the monsoon. They will probably have to risk it.
"Never trust a man without a single redeeming vice" WSC

Offline Omni

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Just heard another update stating that they could drill down to them but they are at a similar depth as the Chilean coal miners and that took two months to get to them. And the rains are still torrential. And of course those boys have no dive training and they aren't in the best of shape currently having gone over a week w/o food.

Offline SirJohn

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I heard an interview with one of the divers who was on the rescue team that found them. He was saying that it usually takes a while to get people trained to do that sort of diving and that the one big fear is that if the rain keeps on coming  the water level continuing to rise could cause a premature forced evacuation. Haven't checked the wx there but here's fingers xed the sun comes out.

And first they have to teach them to swim.
It's not going to work. It's not even like this is normal diving. Normal divers would be dead in these caves. It's a specialized thing, this cave diving, and few are good at it. You're not going to teach a bunch of kids who can't even swim in anything less than many, many months. And even then they're likely to panic.  Sedate them, stick em in a bag. You don't have to inflate the bag, just so its waterproof. Then put an air tank in there with a mask over their faces. I don't know if you can communicate with people while underwater, if they have special gear to be able to do that, but if you do I'd run a line from the entrance to that cave, tie it to the bag, and have the bag pulled while one of the divers guides it from behind. If not then one diver pulls, maybe with the aid of one of those DPVs the military divers use, and another guides from behind.

It's either that or hope the damn cave doesn't fill with water as monsoon season peaks.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline ?Impact

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Just heard another update stating that they could drill down to them but they are at a similar depth as the Chilean coal miners

I expect the surveys of a coal mine are significantly superior to those of this cave, that would create a big challenge for drilling. From what I understand, the chamber they are in is fairly small.

Offline wilber

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They donít have to swim, just relax and not fight the divers. No small thing but that simple. I think putting them in a bag would be more likely to cause panic plus the buoyancy of any air in the bag could cause it to jam against the cave ceiling. No doubt they will come up with something, it will be interesting to see what.
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Offline Omni

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Yeah the bag idea isn't a good one. As you point out the exhales would inflate the bags especially during the length of time it is likely to take to extract them. One issue they pointed out is the chance of having your mouthpiece knocked out of your mouth in the tight quarters again possibly causing panic. I haven't heard how long they anticipate the journey would take to negotiate that mile or so, but I suspect long enough that stress could be a major factor.