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Inside the Thai cave rescue, part I: the preparation

Thai rescue officers prepare cables to provide more lighting and a rubber hose to pump to reduce the water level inside a cave where football players and their coach are missing in the Tham Luang cave in Tham Luang Khun Nam Nang Noon Forest Park in Chiang Rai province, Thailand, 27 June 2018. At least 12 members of a youth soccer team are believed to be missing after being trapped in a flooded cave that they were visiting on 23 June. EPA/PONGMANAT TASIRI

The whole world watched it, but few know the intimate details of what actually happened inside Tham Luang cave, and what it was like to attempt something that seems even more insane in retrospect. Shannon Gormley spent months sitting down with the members of the elite rescue team that did the impossible in June of last year-bringing 12 boys and their coach safely out of a flooded cave with millions hanging on every scrap of hope.

Who are the people who made up the team? What do they have in common? How impossible did this venture seem, even to the most experienced divers in the world? What options were considered before they decided their final plan? How realistic did the boys’ survival seem to the team as the rescue loomed?

GUEST: Shannon Gormley, writer, Maclean’s

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