Thailand rescue authorities on Monday (today) will launch the second phase of evacuation operation to save lives of remaining 9 boys (total 12, 4 saved on Sunday) stuck in Tham Luang cave from the past 15 days. A soccer team comprising 12 boys (aged 11-16) and their coach, who were on an expedition got trapped in the cave after they were blocked by floodwaters following heavy rainfall. After 15 days, during which Thailand authorities search, contact and formulated a plan to rescue all 13, finally on Sunday launched their evacuation mission. The rescue teams saved a total of 4 boys, healthiest ones first while remaining 9 are expected to be evacuated today. The team got stuck approximately 4 kms beneath the cave. While the rescue operation is still underway, take a look at 5 such incidents in the past, when rescue missions were successful. 

8 caves explorers, 1998

Going back in 1983, following a heavy rainstorm, around 8 cave explorers got trapped in Kentucky cave. The explorers got trapped when due to excess rainfall shattered their hopes to get out of the cave from the only exit that was available. In order to reach out help, one of the spelunkers sent a help message in a box. The note said “help”. Stuck here since Saturday 11 am and now it was Monday 12 noon, approximately 3 days. After the rescuers found the help note, immediate help was sent to cave explorers, who were later found waiting on a dry ledge, around 1,800 feet upstream. The strugglers were later provided with warm clothes and food.

Lechuguilla Cave and a pizza, 1991, United States

At least 200 people participated in a rescue operation which went up to almost 4 days to save the life of caving expert Davis Mobley. The explorer had got injured after a heavy rock piece broke her leg. She was exploring Lechuguilla cave in Carlsbad in the United States. The incident is also known as Night of 31 Pizzas, as during the operation, the rescuers joked about that they wanted pizzas inside the case. When the caving expert was finally saved, she was given one of the 31 pizzas, which was donated by local restaurants.

Diving instructor in Air pocket, 1992 

A diving instructor Gustavo Badillo, got trapped in an air pocket while searching for a subterranean lake in Venezuela. Badillo dived with a partner. However, his partner returned safely to the surface but Badillo did not appear. He shouted that he was alive but got no response. A miracle happened when Badillo was thinking to suicide but two American divers went into the lake and brought him back 36 hours after being trapped.

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Flood waters, 6 Britishers, 2004

Six Britishers dived into a Mexican cave along with a larger group. The group was expected that it would return after 3 days, but it did not happen. Later it was reported that they had got trapped in flood waters. The situation lasted for a week when they were finally saved by a rescue team. Reports surfaced that 6 Britishers who dived were in search of substances used for nuclear practices but nothing was clear. However, Britain’s Defense Ministry said that it was just a sports trip.

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Rescue operation that made everybody cry, 2014, Germany

A 52-year-old physicist Johann Westhauser got stuck one of the deepest caves in Germany while he was exploring it. An 11-day long rescue operation including 728 people went on to save Johann Westhauser who was stuck 3766 feet beneath the surface of The Riesending cave also called Big Thing. It was one of the most challenging operations which went turned into success brought tears to everybody’s eyes. The physicist trapped after being hit a rock when he was exploring the cave.

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