The Kids In The Cave

The oxygen levels are getting low.

This seems like a solvable problem, using ECLSS technology. Get some LiOH canisters and oxygen tanks in there. Also, Elon has sent some of his tunneling engineers to see if they can help.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Alan Boyle has the story on the Boring Company and SpaceX support. The former would presumably be tunneling, while the later would provide life support based on Dragon technology.

[Noon update]

Elon has gone full superhero.

[Update a while later]

[Update Saturday afternoon]

Elon is building a mini-submarine, designed to fit through the tunnels, at SpaceX HQ to fly to Thailand.

Early-morning update]

Thought their politics suck, The Guardian is providing good live blogging of the operation.

[Monday-night update]

There were questions in comments how they got there. Here is Bridget Johnson’s story, including how the Buddhist monk training of the coach helped get them through.


15 thoughts on “The Kids In The Cave”

  1. I would say that Musk is attempting a rescue of some sort. I might even call it an International Rescue…

  2. It seems the story on the SEAL is a bit confusing. He was a navy SEAL, but a Thai Navy SEAL, not the US Navy. He died in a chamber where he took his mask and regulator off, but not enough oxygen was in the chamber for him to do so. His death does highlight the dangers of trying to get the kids out via diving.

    1. Thanks Leland. I hadn’t heard that bit about the diver’s hypoxia happening in an oxygen depleted chamber. That makes more sense (as in being an easy to make yet fatal mistake) than other alternatives I’ve heard.

  3. If they wind up diving them out one at a time, I hope they allow the coach the dignity of being the last rescued. (I would think his presence would also help the morale of those awaiting their turn.)

      1. But that doesn’t explain why the (soccer?) team and their coach decided it would be a good thing to explore that cave and go so deep.

        1. From what I’ve read, signing your name on the cave walls was some sort of ritual. When the rain hit and the cave flooded, they couldn’t make it out of the entrance and were forced deeper in a desperate search for a dry place.

          From what I’ve read, cave diving is extremely dangerous. Some of the best cave divers in the world took part in this rescue, including those two British divers who were the first to find the boys alive. This was a huge effort on the part of many people. It’s Thailand’s moon shot. They have every reason to be proud of the effort of so many people – both foreign and Thai – to achieve this outcome.

  4. 4 boys out. Getting them all will be a process of days, which sounds like they are being as careful as possible.

    1. I’ve read: “Thai media reported Monday that the 25-year-old soccer coach was among those who were rescued, CBS News foreign correspondent Ben Tracy reports. Tracy said that while that may seem odd, it’s been reported for days that the coach was actually in the worst shape of those trapped in the cave, since he had been giving the boys all the food and water he had on him.”

      1. Stories from today contradict that, saying that with the second group of four boys successfully rescued, four boys and the coach remain in the cave.

    2. The latest news is 8 out of 12. I figured there were more than 12, but that’s what I read. 12 is enough to field a team with coach, but I figured subs too. Regardless, the rescuers themselves have to get in and out safely each time as well.

      My only concern about order is as it relates to standard triage assessments. That appears to be the what the rescue team is doing.

  5. My experience participating on medical relief teams convinced me that such operations are often ad hoc and poorly executed in hindsight. Monday night quarterbacking reveals that many things could have been done in preparation prior to the event and rapid and innovative solutions should have been considered but weren’t. We need to do better preparing for a wide number of scenarios and rapidly implementing them. For example, Elon Tweeted about Nylon tubes and mini-subs. Could those have already been build and packaged for shipping long ago and then flown on moment’s notice?

    1. In the Mark Wahlberg movie of this, the pumps will explode just as the last person is running from the cave.

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