An ex-Volunteer Rescue Association diver has praised the rescue of 12 soccer players stranded in a cave in Thailand – however, he said he let out his sigh of relief after just the first group emerged from the cave.
Gordon Poidevin, of Malua Bay, told the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner on July 10 he believed the team would all make it out safely – and he was right.
“The difficult part is all set up – they’re getting to know and trust the lines,” he said.
“Once you’ve got set up it flows. You take the nervous ones out first, otherwise they’ll be terrified by themselves.
“They’ll get them all out now – no problems at all.”
Mr Poidevin said low visibility created challenges for rescuers, especially when their surroundings are uncertain.
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“The most difficult part would be visibility – it’s like doing a search in a silted river, it takes hours for the silt to drop,” he said.
“You have to get familiar with the surroundings and know exactly where to go.
“The first time you do it you’re wary. If you bump into somebody when you can’t see – that’s an experience.”
Mr Poidevin said the death of Thai ex-navy diver Saman Gunan was a tragic example of a volunteer giving their all.
“We were taught that once carbon dioxide increases, due to stress, your brain can go,” he said.
“It becomes a struggle to know which way to go, or find the line.
“He’s just pushed himself too hard.”