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Australian cave medic emerges to his own tragic news

The Thaiger

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Australian cave medic emerges to his own tragic news | The Thaiger
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In the wake of yesterday’s euphoria following the final five team members being successfully evacuated from the Tham Luang caves, a sad epilogue.

An Australian doctor, Richard Harris, partly responsible for looking after the Thai football team during their cave ordeal, emerged last night, exhausted but relieved they job was over. Some sad news awaited him.

He was told that his father had died overnight.

Richard, a world-renowned medic and diver whose presence in the dramatic rescue of the Wild Boars squad was specifically requested by experts and Thai officials, was reportedly the last person to leave the water-logged caves yesterday.

“Harry”, his nickname amongst the caving community, cancelled his holidays to fly into northern Thailand – just one of the enormous international contingent to get the young team out of the Tham Luang caves, alive.

His expertise was called in because he knows caving, the risks, the medical threats and the knowledge to assess people who have been inside for extended periods. He put his own life at risk to head into the flooded cave where the 13 members of Mu Pa had just been found, six days before their extraction began.

Harry braved the a four kilometre slog through cramped, craggy spaces, much of the journey under metres of muddy water, several times.

Australian cave medic emerges to his own tragic news | News by The Thaiger

Australia’s national broadcast, the ABC, says Adelaide-based Harris was the person responsible for choosing the order in which the team would be selected to leave the cave. His specialty in anaesthesia would come particularly in handy as the decision was made to ease some of the team’s anxiety with light stress-reducing medication. The boys would be fully conscious and alert during their evacuation – they had to be – but would have some of their obvious anxiety and potential for panic reduced because of Harry’s knowledge of the medications available.

Harris, part of a 20+ team of Australian caving specialists, was the last person to emerge from the cave at the same time the final five team members were arriving at the Chiang Rai hospital.

Andrew Pearce, head of clinical services at SAAS MedSTAR, where Harris works, announced to the media…

“It is with great sadness that I confirm that Harry’s dad passed away last night a short time after the successful rescue operation in Thailand.”

Andrew said he had spoken with Harry saying that this was “…a time of grief for the Harris family, magnified by the physical and emotional demands of being part of this week’s highly complex and ultimately successful rescue operation.”

Australia’s foreign finister Julie Bishop hailed Harris for being an “integral part of the rescue attempt” saying his role had been extraordinary. Minister Bishop said the Australian government would formally honour all Australians who took part in the rescue.

SOURCES: AFP, The Nation, The Thaiger

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Air Pollution

PM to tackle Northern Thailand’s seasonal haze… again

Caitlin Ashworth

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PM to tackle Northern Thailand’s seasonal haze… again | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The Thai prime minister says he’s working on a plan to tackle Northern Thailand’s seasonal haze problem by cutting back manmade bushfires known to largely contribute to the air pollution. The issue has been broadly covered in Thai and foreign media for years, and been followed up with ministerial visits, promises, and little else.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke with governors of 17 northern provinces affected by seasonal haze, saying that he plans to supply villagers and local organisations with equipment, but reports did not go into much detail about what tools locals would get. He says authorities and state agencies need to step in to help combat the haze problem, suggesting that provincial governors head the local fight against wildfires.

“It’s important to eradicate the root cause of wildfires that result from villagers’ way of life… Even more farming space should be provided to farmers who need it to protect natural resources from being destroyed.”

Prayut added that it’s important for state agencies to collaborate on the firefighting effort and said members of the public can help raise awareness about wildfires.

The annual haze/smoke/air pollution problem is not just a Thai issue with the neighbouring countries, particularly Myanmar, causing their fair share of the illegal plantation fires, as shown in sharp detail in the satellite images.

Read The Thaiger’s take on the annual ‘smoke’ problem HERE.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Chiang Rai

2 Burmese nationals arrested while crossing river into Thailand

Maya Taylor

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2 Burmese nationals arrested while crossing river into Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.orientalescape.com

Border forces have arrested 2 Burmese nationals as they were crossing a river in the northern province of Chiang Rai in an attempt to enter Thailand. There has been an increase in security patrols along the border with Myanmar in recent weeks, as the country experiences a spike in Covid-19 cases. There have been reports of Burmese nationals attempting to enter Thailand without submitting to any of the Covid-19 measures currently in place, including testing and mandatory quarantine.

The latest arrests are of a 20 year old man named only as Saiunkaew, and 30 year old Sailu. Both men were detained while crossing the Mae Sai river, in the Koh Chang sub-district of Chiang Rai.

2 Burmese nationals arrested while crossing river into Thailand | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Saiunkaew says he travelled from Myanmar’s Shan state and claims he was on his way to study at Chiang Mai’s Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya University. He says he paid 4,000 baht to an agency in his home country to facilitate his border crossing. Sailu says he was hoping to find work in Thailand, adding that he paid 17,400 baht to Burmese border officials in order to allow him cross. Both men are now being processed by Chiang Rai Immigration, after which they will be deported to Myanmar.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Crime

Immigration announce the arrest of 18 Chinese illegal migrants in Chiang Rai

Jack Burton

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Immigration announce the arrest of 18 Chinese illegal migrants in Chiang Rai | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: 77kaoded

Immigration officers yesterday announced the arrest of 18 undocumented Chinese immigrants Chiang Rai on August 2, who reportedly attempted to cross the Mekong River from Laos to enter the kingdom illegally. A team of investigating officers from the Chiang Saen Immigration Checkpoint was patrolled the Mekong River area after receiving a tip that a group of unlawful migrants would be smuggled from Ton Pheung District in northwestern Laos via boat.

The 18 were caught as they reached a riverbank behind a restaurant in the Chiang Saen district around 5:50pm August 2. They were brought to Chiang Saen Police Station for an initial interrogation and to arrange a translator, since none of the group any travel documents.

They were initially charged with entering the Kingdom of Thailand without permission and failing to comply with the Disease Control Act, according to an announcement. That order requires that all potential immigrants go through proper channels to enter the country and enter a mandatory 14 day quarantine, amoong other rules and regulations. The commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, told the Thai Associated Press:

“The public health officers did an initial temperature test on all the immigrants and none of them showed a sign of Covid-19 coronavirus infection. The group did not have exposure to the general public as they were caught swiftly.”

“They were detained at the Chiang Saen police station for legal proceedings. Meanwhile, investigators were checking their mobile data and usage of their mobile phones as they might contain useful information regarding people who may have contributed to this trafficking or lead to further investigation.”

Thailand has been cracking down on illegal border crossings and encouraging residents of border towns to report any strangers. Thailand has officially gone 86 days with no confirmed locally transmitted cases of Covid-19, but has identified the danger of illegal immigrants importing the virus from elsewhere as the biggest potential roadblock to staying free of the disease. International borders remain closed for general tourists and only small, select groups of foreigners are currently allowed to enter the country.

It’s unclear why the group were trying to enter Thailand or where they were originally from in China.

Immigration announce the arrest of 18 Chinese illegal migrants in Chiang Rai | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: The Pattaya News | 77kaoded

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