“THE GREAT ESCAPE” – By Des Kelly
Also the title of a famous old movie, but this was an escape from a prison camp. The escape, I now write about involves a young Thai Soccer team and their Coach, from a “cave” in Thailand.
First & foremost, the World now rejoices in the rescue of these young boys & their Coach. It seemed to be an almost impossible rescue because of the circumstances involved.
Anyone who has not read recent news, or seen the remarkable occurrences that have taken place, is either totally blind & does not own a T.V. set. This catastrophe has been in the World News for over a week and has just resulted in the most heroic rescue effort that I have ever seen, and I do watch the news on television every day.
A very special “Hero” was the Thailand Navy Seal who gave his life during the rescue effort, dying because of a lack of oxygen in the cave & our hearts go out in sympathy to his family. Here’s hoping that his wife & family will be adequately looked after, now, he’s gone.
Secondly, to make a long story short, I think, however, that every single person involved in the great escape deserves a medal. From the Australian Doctor, plus the other Aussies, from the Thailand folk who also put their own lives at risk to “cover” the rescue effort, to anyone else, who I have missed, the Thailand Government should honour these brave people with a special medal for bravery.
To go into this cave, knowing that the earth could have collapsed upon them, burying them alive, especially as drilling was taking place above them, to hopefully provide another means of escape, is beyond imagination. I salute every one of the rescuers, and I feel certain that every Lankan/Aussie reading this, feels the same way.
I have one simple question. Why was this young Soccer team & their Coach there, in the first place?. I do not blame the young boys. To young guys, anywhere, this would have been an exciting adventure, entering an unknown cave,
order to find out what went on, in there, to explore all the nooks and crannies, to later boast about this adventure to their friends. Also, this Coach was their boss, so to speak. They trusted him to see them through safely.
It’s the Coach, I am worried about. Granted, when he realised that they were all trapped in there, he did his best to protect & look after his charges, but, they were a young Soccer Team, on an outing perhaps, away from the Soccer field, where they regularly practised their game. This young man,(the Coach), took his young team into the bowels of the earth, and he must have, or should have known that the entrance hole in that cave would have to be their only exit as well. Common sense would have told him, (I believe that it was the “monsoon-period”), that should there have been a heavy downpour of rain, the excess water would inundate that cave, also through that same entrance hole, by which they themselves had entered. What happened next?. Exactly that, resulting in the fact that all of them were trapped on this narrow ledge, luckily just above the water level, awaiting a rescue that, according to the news, might have not been possible, resulting in a tragic loss of twelve more lives.
Anyway, “all’s well that end’s well”. It would have been a very sharp learning-curve for this Coach & all young Soccer teams, everywhere in the World, remember to try and keep your feet, not only for Soccer, but also on terra-firma as well.
The main thing is that “Happy days are here again”, the “Great Escape” in Thailand was successful, thanks to God, who sent His “saving grace” into the hands of the rescuers.
Rest in peace, Petty Officer first class Saman Kunan (Seal), you have shown us the true courage of Navy Seals everywhere.
Star of eLanka