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Rescue divers who saved the 12 football players and their coach trapped in a flooded cave say they risked getting arrested for giving the boys ketamine to sedate them for the two and a half hour underwater journey out of the cave. The Sun reported that British divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen say they warned that if any of the boys died from taking the sedative, which is used as a tranquiliser for horses and also as a party drug, that they could be arrested. The 12 Wild Boars football players, ages 11 to 16, and their 25 year […]

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Nothing about Dr. Richard Harris the Australian anesthetist who actually delivered the medicine to the boys. It’s a strange quirk of history that only partial stories ever get told

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19 minutes ago, Thaiger said:

the sedative, which is used as a tranquiliser for horses

An oft quoted but erroneous statement. A version of ket used by humans bares no resemblance to the horse tranquiliser. 

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The reality is, the boys were saved and fully recovered. My thoughts go to the family of the Thai Navy diver, who died in the attempt to save them. Such a brave soul, who should long be remembered in Thailand.

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A particularly irresponsible & sensational piece from The Sun.

"The Sun reported that British divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen say they warned that if any of the boys died from taking the sedative, which is used as a tranquiliser for horses and also as a party drug, that they could be arrested."

 

It is safe & used very frequently in Emergency medicine, for children & adults

https://emj.bmj.com/content/21/3/271

https://www.evidence.nhs.uk/search?om

 

 

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1 hour ago, Faraday said:

A particularly irresponsible & sensational piece from The Sun.

"The Sun reported that British divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen say they warned that if any of the boys died from taking the sedative, which is used as a tranquiliser for horses and also as a party drug, that they could be arrested."

It is safe & used very frequently in Emergency medicine, for children & adults

https://emj.bmj.com/content/21/3/271

https://www.evidence.nhs.uk/search?om

Yes and no - or actually no and yes.

'Yes', the part about horses is wildly misleading sensationalism as they're different versions of the same drug.

... and 'no', the Sun didn't say "... they warned that ...".

It actually says "... they WERE warned that ...", which is rather different.

Maybe @Thaiger could correct this rather glaring typo ...

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2 hours ago, Jason said:

My thoughts go to the family of the Thai Navy diver, who died in the attempt to save them. Such a brave soul, who should long be remembered in Thailand.

He was actually a retired Navy diver who volunteered  to go and help, which makes his death all the more worthy of respect.

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3 hours ago, richardhames said:

Nothing about Dr. Richard Harris the Australian anesthetist who actually delivered the medicine to the boys. It’s a strange quirk of history that only partial stories ever get told

The various films and accounts show the different sides depending on who bought the rights to whose story, so this particular version is mainly from the perspective of the two Brits.

Others are from Dr Harris' perspective or from the boys'.

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I admire these divers and the medical staff. Even though the depths were shallow and no need to decompress or fear of N2 narcosis and embolism but a 2 1/2 hour side while sedated without hookah is a very good effort. They deserves the Georges medal.

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12 minutes ago, Faraday said:

A very interesting publication on the medical aspects of the rescue:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7481118/?report=classic

This one's about the use of Ketamine in mountain rescue:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32912718/

Brilliant article that answered all the aspects of the rescue that I suspected. Because the dive was <5m FFM was perfect as there is no need for the lads to equalize pressure and being a closed circuit unit the divers can monitor exhalation.

But where I absolutely admire these divers was their ability to maintain the head posture for each child and avoid aspiration in all cases.

A tab biased as my old diving mentor was an x British Navy diver and I often think of him when hearing accounts such as this. Thanks again Faraday.  

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17 hours ago, Stonker said:

He was actually a retired Navy diver who volunteered  to go and help, which makes his death all the more worthy of respect.

Hi Stonker. I'm sure that many will see my comment as cold hearted but he was no hero.

Navy divers are open water specialists. Cave diving is to many the black belt in the world of scuba. As a Navy diver his lack of responsibility and ignorance of the circumstances is scary.

As an x balck water salvage diver my training was rigorous but even for recreational and sports divers a cave divers license is minimum 2 weeks of blind folded training in murky waters with side mounted tanks. No matter how good the open water diver is that person enters a new world. One wrong home navigation line placed incorrectly can result in death.

So many fatalities world wide for similar instances and I hope that others don't see Thai Navy seals and divers as irresponsible as this man even though his intentions were honourable.

What it shows me is the necessity for Thai police divers to have their people trained in cave environments with FFM and sidemount assembly. If that was the case from the start the British divers would never had been talked about in this topic.

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18 hours ago, Stonker said:

Yes', the part about horses is wildly misleading sensationalism as they're different versions of the same drug.

So I have been using the wrong one all this time? I will have to have a word to my vet.

It is popular in Thailand, easy to get and fairly cheap.

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6 hours ago, mickkotlarski said:

Hi Stonker. I'm sure that many will see my comment as cold hearted but he was no hero.

Navy divers are open water specialists. Cave diving is to many the black belt in the world of scuba. As a Navy diver his lack of responsibility and ignorance of the circumstances is scary.

As an x balck water salvage diver my training was rigorous but even for recreational and sports divers a cave divers license is minimum 2 weeks of blind folded training in murky waters with side mounted tanks. No matter how good the open water diver is that person enters a new world. One wrong home navigation line placed incorrectly can result in death.

So many fatalities world wide for similar instances and I hope that others don't see Thai Navy seals and divers as irresponsible as this man even though his intentions were honourable.

What it shows me is the necessity for Thai police divers to have their people trained in cave environments with FFM and sidemount assembly. If that was the case from the start the British divers would never had been talked about in this topic.

Sorry, but I have to disagree very strongly with that.

You're absolutely correct about the difference in dive standards and experience (I'm only a basic PADI diver, with nearly all my dives in the Red Sea, but I've also done some caving and led expeds in the Niah caves in Indonesia and the Tawi Atair sinkhole in Oman so I know the differences), but the problem was that without the Navy Seals the experts in cave diving could never have moved enough tanks themselves to carry out the rescue.

Yes, the Seals were way outside their comfort and training zone and they were totally untrained or qualified for the job, but they were all there was and without their involvement all the boys would have died.

Ideally, yes, "Thai police divers [would] have their people trained in cave environments with FFM and sidemount assembly", but they weren't - and, to be fair, how many police forces have that?  None, that I'm aware of.

They weren't "irresponsible", but they were the best that were available and without them the boys would have all died.  That was the option.

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Possibly also worth mentioning that Lt Col Pak Loharachun, the Army medic who stayed with the boys throughout, was also not a cave diver but only had Navy seal diver training.

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People will differ on what makes a hero. Often that word is senselessly thrown around these days.

In this case, he was a volunteer who without hesitation sought  to help kids in such a terrible situation. A man I am sure who did not know if his skills may or may not be sufficient to fulfill the mission requirements. He seems a man simply just there to try and do his best and to help as directed. A man who was clearly ready and willing to put himself in harms way without concern for himself. A man who sadly made the ultimate sacrifice in doing so.

In my eyes, the use of "Hero" for such a man in this case is well justified. As it is equally for all those who succeeded in this and lived to tell the story of a remarkable rescue with International personnel supporting the Thai lead as they directed the operation. Wonderful co-operation and shows what people can achieve when they work together.

May he rest in peace. I am sure the boys will not forget his sacrifice for them, nor the efforts of the whole team.

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7 minutes ago, Stonker said:

Sorry, but I have to disagree very strongly with that.

You're absolutely correct about the difference in dive standards and experience (I'm only a basic PADI diver, with nearly all my dives in the Red Sea, but I've also done some caving and led expeds in the Niah caves in Indonesia and the Tawi Atair sinkhole in Oman so I know the differences), but the problem was that without the Navy Seals the experts in cave diving could never have moved enough tanks themselves to carry out the rescue.

Yes, the Seals were way outside their comfort and training zone and they were totally untrained or qualified for the job, but they were all there was and without their involvement all the boys would have died.

Ideally, yes, "Thai police divers [would] have their people trained in cave environments with FFM and sidemount assembly", but they weren't - and, to be fair, how many police forces have that?  None, that I'm aware of.

They weren't "irresponsible", but they were the best that were available and without them the boys would have all died.  That was the option.

Actually Stonker in essence you have kinda agreed with me. The contribution of the police divers WAS vital and their role in the rescue of these lads was underestimated. But although my statement seems harsh and the word irresponsible should be retracted but my point is that like so many other instances around the world it takes a fatality before measures are taken.

What you said about the Navy Seals being outside their comfort zone is spot on as no matter how well trained an open water diver is, once natural light can no longer illuminate the surroundings in a confined area then he is no longer in a certified environment. 

I guess in the end if there was irresponsibility it would lie with the teacher and his lack of understanding about the cave itself. But even then I doubt he deliberately guided himself and his students into a risky situation.

It was a disaster and many should be seen in a positive light. Afterall there can be books and movies about bravery with certain individuals but an honest documentary would show a team effort.

You are right old boy. I was a tab judgemental.

 

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10 minutes ago, Stonker said:

Possibly also worth mentioning that Lt Col Pak Loharachun, the Army medic who stayed with the boys throughout, was also not a cave diver but only had Navy seal diver training.

He was a Army MD as I recall.  Good to give him credit as he  deserves a lot.

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42 minutes ago, LoongFred said:

He was a Army MD as I recall.  Good to give him credit as he  deserves a lot.

Yes! With all my credit given to the British cave divers but many people hauled arse and made the rescue a success. Col Pak for sure.

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39 minutes ago, mickkotlarski said:

Actually Stonker in essence you have kinda agreed with me. The contribution of the police divers WAS vital and their role in the rescue of these lads was underestimated. But although my statement seems harsh and the word irresponsible should be retracted but my point is that like so many other instances around the world it takes a fatality before measures are taken.

What you said about the Navy Seals being outside their comfort zone is spot on as no matter how well trained an open water diver is, once natural light can no longer illuminate the surroundings in a confined area then he is no longer in a certified environment. 

I guess in the end if there was irresponsibility it would lie with the teacher and his lack of understanding about the cave itself. But even then I doubt he deliberately guided himself and his students into a risky situation.

It was a disaster and many should be seen in a positive light. Afterall there can be books and movies about bravery with certain individuals but an honest documentary would show a team effort.

You are right old boy. I was a tab judgemental.

I think we were disagreeing on perspective, which is always difficult.

In fairness to the coach, a lot of people were keen to brand him as "irresponsible" as if everything always has to be somebody's 'fault' so someone always has to be held responsible and to blame, but they actually didn't go that far into the cave until forced to and it was a week before the cave was due to be closed because of the annual monsoon so should have been safe.

The problem was a freak flash flood from monsoons further up the hills over the border - sometimes accidents just happen.

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47 minutes ago, LoongFred said:

He was a Army MD as I recall.  Good to give him credit as he  deserves a lot.

3 minutes ago, mickkotlarski said:

Yes! With all my credit given to the British cave divers but many people hauled arse and made the rescue a success. Col Pak for sure.

He was actually CO  (Commanding Officer) of 3rd Medical Battalion at the time, so held a pretty reasonable rank with a considerable level of responsibility.

What I admired about him most wasn't the impressive list of special forces qualifications (literally every one in the Thai military) but his order when he'd  taken command of his battalion that everyone was to smile when they saluted!

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1 minute ago, Stonker said:

I think we were disagreeing on perspective, which is always difficult.

In fairness to the coach, a lot of people were keen to brand him as "irresponsible" as if everything always has to be somebody's 'fault' so someone always has to be held responsible and to blame, but they actually didn't go that far into the cave until forced to and it was a week before the cave was due to be closed because of the annual monsoon so should have been safe.

The problem was a freak flash flood from monsoons further up the hills over the border - sometimes accidents just happen.

Yes! No drama Stonker as you correctly pointed me in the right direction. looking back now I was too harsh because a 2 1/2 hour swim in murky water needs a big team to orchestrate a mission such as this.

One of the locals did mention when the populace was finger pointing at the teacher that these freak floods can happen without any signs or warnings. I was critical of the teacher at first until I heard this. Perhaps it is another area that should be sealed off or given seasonal restricted access.

Perspectives can be strange things indeed. Don't worry Stonker your debating is sound and criticism welcome. You present fair view points.

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