Press "Enter" to skip to content

Veteran Rescue Diver Talks Thai Cave Operation on CNN: ‘Intensely Difficult’

Things continue to look terrifying for the rescue mission underway to save a group of teens and their coach in Thailand.

According to rescue diver Butch Hendrick, one of the current frontrunner plans to dive the kids out of the cave would be a very difficult task, to say the least.

After CNN’s Brooke Baldwin noted that a Thai Navy SEAL died while on one of the dives through the cave, she asked Hendrick what that means for these boys – some of whom can’t even swim – attempting this dive.

“Originally we said of the option, you mentally had to accept the fact that none of them could swim, so we would be looking at a total group of non-swimmers,” Hendrick said. “One of the difficulties for the divers other than the actual trained cave divers, they’re not wearing redundant breathing systems. They’re going in with a single scuba tank with compressed air, and they’re not able to have a secondary alternate air source.

“So when an emergency is occurring, they don’t have a backup system, and they don’t have a backup plan at the moment for a lot of the would-be rescuers, including the Navy SEALS,” he added.

If they were to attempt this rescue, however, the divers would hold the boys “kind of like in a pouch of a mother kangaroo,” Hendrick explained.

“Basically they would be encapsulated in a full face mask or some sort of a mask that allows them to breathe,” he continued. “Certainly some protective equipment, clothing, wet suits because we don’t want them getting cut and banging against the sides of the walls and the rocks on the way out.”

“It’s intensely difficult,” he concluded.

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]