GUEST VIEW: Rescue of Thai boys is celebration of human indomitability

The following editorial was published on July 10 in the Telegraph of London:

(AP) The extraordinary rescue of the 12 young footballers and their coach from a flooded cave network in Thailand is a magnificent story of human indomitability and ingenuity.

The most eagerly followed rescue mission since 33 Chilean miners were trapped for weeks underground ended happily, after divers brought the rest of the trapped group to the surface. Tragically, the one fatality of the mission was of a Navy rescuer who ran out of oxygen.

The involvement of children in this drama made it even more poignant. Who did not think of the parents anxiously waiting for their offspring to be found alive and then to be brought out against the odds, with oxygen levels falling and water levels rising? The Thai authorities, and its military in particular, performed superbly, helped by volunteer divers from around the world, including the UK.

There is something compelling about such rescues and the race against time. Those old enough will remember the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission and how the world watched on with bated breath as the spacecraft was guided back to earth. The Thai rescue inevitably attracted news media from across the globe for what was an intensely human drama.

After a few days recovery the children will be reunited with their parents and, we hope, restored to a normal life.

The Chilean story did not end particularly well: after they were freed the miners found it hard to get work and fell out over a film made of their ordeal. One said: “We were simple working men who went down a mine and came up into a circus, And then the world forgot about us.”

For the Thai boys just getting out is enough.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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