Thai cave rescue shows much good remains in troubled world

Tuesday’s edition of The Mining Journal featured an Associated Press article that stated all 12 boys and their soccer coach had been rescued from the flooded cave in northern Thailand, ending an 18-day ordeal that riveted people around the world.

The boys and their coach were trapped in the cave that became flooded by monsoon rains while they were exploring it after a soccer practice on June 23. They were discovered 10 days later by British divers.

Derek Anderson, a 32-year-old rescue specialist with the U.S. Air Force based in Okinawa, Japan, told the AP the dozen boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16, and their coach, who were trapped for more than two weeks before being rescued this week, were “incredibly resilient.”

“What was really important was the coach and the boys all came together and discussed staying strong, having the will to live, having the will to survive,” Anderson told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday.

Falling oxygen levels, risk of sickness and the imminent prospect of more rain flooding the cave complex for months meant “the long-term survivability of the boys in the cave was becoming a less and less feasible option,” Anderson said.

Although the overall effort tragically included the death of one rescuer, not only are we glad to see this story turn out with a happy ending, but we would like to commend all of the men and women who risked much in an effort to help save these boys and their coach.

“The world just needs to know that what was accomplished was a once in a lifetime rescue that I think has never been done before,” Anderson said. “We were extremely fortunate that the outcome was the way it was. It’s important to realize how complex and how many pieces of this puzzle had to come together.”

This world can often be a very dark and discouraging place. But people like Anderson and his fellow rescuers shine a light into those dark places, and make us all see that there is still plenty of good in the world.