By Dan Calabrese
Great news on two fronts.
First, obviously, six of the boys are safe. Second, the successful rescue of the first six boys shows that the rescue plan is viable, and that the boys and their rescuers have shown they can work together to successfully execute this very difficult dive and reach safety.
It doesn’t guarantee the same result for the six who remain or for their coach, but it does show that the plan can work, and that’s enormously encouraging.
Keep the prayers coming because the Lord is answering them:
Rescuing them all could take three to four days and depended on the weather, an army commander involved in the mission had said earlier.
The rescue teams had rehearsed the plan for several days, Narongsak said, and had managed to drain the water level in the cave considerably, but needed to move fast.
“If we wait and the rain comes in the next few days we will be tired again from pumping and our readiness would drop. If that’s the case, then we have to reassess the situation,” he said.
An Australian doctor who is part of the rescue mission checked the health of the boys on Saturday night and gave the all-clear for the operation to proceed.
The boys were discovered by British divers Richard Stanton and John Volanthen on Monday.
Of the 13-strong foreign dive team – mainly from Europe – three were escorting the children, while the remainder were positioned along the dangerous first kilometer stretch, where the boys will have to navigate through submerged passageways in some places no more than two feet (0.6 meter) wide.
If you’re wondering how the doctor was able to get to the team to check on them, the issue throughout has been training the boys to perform this dive. Experienced divers can execute the dive that gets them inside the cave to the boys – if they’re diving alone – but bringing the boys out is a much riskier operation because none of the boys can even swim, let alone have experience diving in long, narrow stretches of water in which there are no air pockets.
Getting them ready for such a dive, which is being executed as a “buddy dive” in which each boy is hooked to an experienced diver, has been the most challenging thing about the preparation for this rescue. The fact that six of them have made it out is astonishing, and while I know they’ve all worked hard, you can’t tell me God’s hand isn’t in this.
Keep praying for the boys who are still in the cave, and for their coach, because the early developments are encouraging but this is not over yet.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!