Local Divers Weigh In On Thailand Cave Rescue Efforts

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 19:24:13-04

Jim Holland and his wife own a scuba shop on Donelson Pike. He has traveled around the world and was formally certified as a cave diver.

“Cave diving is an overhead environment. An overhead environment means you can’t go straight to the surface,” Holland explained.

To become a certified cave diver you must go through extensive training. Even then, with all the training in the world, things can go wrong.

“What happens to mechanical devices? They fail. You have to be able to know how to get out,” said Holland.

Chip Devilbiss is another experienced diver who's been closely following the rescue efforts in Northern Thailand.

“They’ve got some really experienced people over there that know what to do,” he said.

Twelve boys and their soccer coach are still alive, but they remain trapped in an underground cave. Those in charge of the rescue operation say time is running out. Approaching weather is getting worse, and there are lowered oxygen levels inside the cave due to all the workers. Overnight Friday, a former Thai Navy SEAL passed out underwater and died, but the rescue efforts are moving forward.

“That’s a lot of swimming and a lot of gas. You’re talking about several kilometers of transit,” Devilbiss said.

He and the world will continue to monitor the rescue efforts until each one of the young boys and their coach have been brought to safety. “I think there’s a real good chance they’ll get them out okay,” he said.