British diver heroes reveal fears during Thai cave rescue, getting lost underwater and boys' bravery

Mail Online | 7/14/2018 | Nick Craven for The Mail on Sunday
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That was the grim warning by British cave diver Jason Mallinson and his colleagues to the Thai authorities as they prepared to rescue 12 frightened and weakened schoolboys trapped two and a half miles deep inside a dark, flooded cave.

But it was thanks to their incredible courage and skill this gloomy prophecy never materialised.

Mallinson - Arrival - Tham - Luang - Thailand

Before Mallinson’s arrival at Tham Luang in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province where the boys were trapped inside the vast cave system, the authorities had been considering leaving the football team and their coach there for months.

But with monsoon rains looming, the boys’ health deteriorating and oxygen levels in the cave dropping, it soon became clear there was just one option – a daring rescue mission which was to captivate the world and involved more than 1,000 rescuers, including Thai Navy SEALs, teams from around the world and scores of volunteers.

Today - Time - Jason - Cave - Diver

Today, for the first time, Jason, 50, and fellow cave diver 35-year-old Chris Jewell – who between them rescued seven of the 12 boys – give their compelling account of the high-risk mission, revealing just how close it came to disaster, despite meticulous planning.

In their astonishing and brutally honest account, much of which debunks the official line and previous reports, the cave divers tell how:

Floodwater - Weeks - Network - Fetid - Caves

Trapped by floodwater for more than two weeks deep inside a network of fetid caves, the 12 boys aged between 11 and 16 of the Wild Boars football team, plus their coach, were found alive nine days into their ordeal – sparking the huge international operation to bring them out alive.

As the world held its breath, the final three agonising days of the drama saw the boys – reportedly sedated on ketamine to calm them for the extraction – emerging one by one, and the operation hailed as ‘a miracle’.

But those modest...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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