Chile case furnished lessons for Chiang Rai rescue

your say July 09, 2018 01:00

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Re: “Trapped 13 express their feelings in first letters from cave”, National, July 7.

It is good to hear that 25-year-old Coach Ekapol Chantawong, who led the 12 boys into the Chiang Rai cave where they were trapped, has apologised to their parents.

Be that as it may, we should not point accusing fingers at anyone. Instead, we should concentrate on bringing the boys and their coach back to safety as soon as possible.

Two specialists who in 2010 helped 33 trapped miners survive for 69 days in a coal mine in Chile see a crucial similarity between that incident and the drama unfolding in Chiang Rai: trapped group have stayed united and strong in their will to live.

Dr Jean Chistophe Romagnoli, a sports medicine specialist, and Alberto Iturra Benavides, a psychologist, offer these opinions:

Romagnoli said rescuers should work according to the specific conditions. What applies to another scenario might not apply to this one. What does apply in both the Chile and Chiang Rai cases however is the rescue was an international effort. That’s the secret of success.

Benavides said that we should not give the trapped victims anything that might separate them.

For example, they should listen to music as a group. No headphones, which would risk leading to disinterest and disunity among them.

And most important: they must be encouraged to maintain high respect for their leader.

Chavalit Wannawijitr

Chiang Mai

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