The rescue efforts were made complex by the prevailing weather conditions in Thailand. (Reuters)
Danish diving instructor Ivan Katadzic was on holiday in southern Thailand’s beach resort of Krabi when he heard about 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave at the other end of the country.
He spent a few days gathering equipment and then set off to help with the rescue, by which time intrepid cave divers from around the world had arrived too, swelling the throng of soldiers, engineers, paramedics and other volunteers to up to 2,000, according to the local government.
“I think it’s phenomenal to see so many divers and nationalities here as well as non-divers helping,” said Katadzic, 44, who owns two diving companies on a Gulf of Thailand holiday island.
The junior soccer players, who disappeared in the Tham Luang cave in the province of Chiang Rai on June 23, were discovered in a partially flooded chamber on Monday by British drivers.
But their ordeal is far from over as rescuers puzzle over how to extract them through murky water coursing through a network of tunnels.
A team of Thai Navy SEALs is coordinating an operation that risks getting out of hand as more and more volunteers arrive, and the media circus covering the drama grows.
“Whoever offers help, knowledge, technology, equipment, we gratefully accept,” Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said this week, but added that he had turned some people away because they would have been more of…