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Thailand Cave Rescue Prompts Safety Reminder

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The world was mesmerized by the rescue operation. Twelve young boys and their soccer coach had left their bicycles at the opening of a cave in Thailand, when sudden monsoon rains trapped them deep within the earth. After being concealed in total darkness for days, wet, hungry and weak, a team of divers, engineers, cavers and other experts made the dramatic rescue. Every member of the Wild Boar team and their coach made it out safely. Tragically, one of the rescuers lost his life.

Potential Dangers for Cavers 

A number of issues can pose unexpected problems for adventurers who explore caves, including:

  • Bad air or low oxygen levels;
  • Problems with ropes and/or ladders;
  • Failure of lights, rigging, or other equipment;
  • Physical and/or mental fatigue;
  • Falling rocks;
  • Getting stuck in tight passages;
  • Becoming ill;
  • Encountering medical issues such as sprains, having a heart attack, etc.;
  • Becoming stranded or lost;
  • Unexpected water issues;
  • Hypothermia;
  • Minor or serious falls

Caving Calamities in the United States 

Exploring nature’s caverns appeals to more than a few people worldwide. Here in the United States,the adventure has led to a number of accidents, fatalities, and rescue missions:

  • Estimates of the number of individuals who visit caves in this country stand at roughly two million every year. The majority of these visits are to guided tours or low-risk hikes;
  • Roughly 50 people are injured in caving accidents annually;
  • average of three people die while spelunking each year;
  • The primary causes of death in caving incidents are drowning and falls;
  • Over half of people rescued report having become lost in the caves;
  • Nearly three in four traumatic injuries are the result of falls.

Case in Point

One man lost his life when he and a group of friends chose to explore Nutty Putty Cave in Utah. He became wedged upside down in a narrow passage, causing serious problems with his circulation and breathing. A team of over 100 involved in the rescue mission and 28 hours of effort were unsuccessful.

Mississippi Caves 

There are actually a few caves right here in Mississippi that attract visitors from all over the state, including:

  • Cat’s Den Cave Preserve in Smith County;
  • Loess Bluff at Natchez Trace Parkway;
  • Red Bluff, just outside Morgantown.

Safety Tips

 If you decide that you’d like to do some exploring, keep these safety suggestions in mind:

  • Don’t go alone, and make sure others know where you’re headed and when you expect to be back;
  • Dress appropriately: caves typically are about the temperature of a refrigerator;
  • Bring extra light sources in case one fails;
  • Wear a hardhat;
  • Bring fresh water and snacks.

At the office of Derek L. Hall, PC, our legal team celebrates the rescue of the Wild Boars, and hopes that your adventures have pleasant, if less dramatic outcomes, as well. In the event you experience serious personal injury due to the negligence or recklessness of someone else, our heavy hitting team has got your back. Contact us in Jackson for a free, confidential consultation, at the first sign of a problem.

Resources:

news.com.au/world/asia/thai-soccer-team-set-out-on-teambuilding-exercise-that-turned-into-nightmare/news-story/5fb40b9137fe198e112897291d9892bf

mit.edu/activities/spelunk/introtocaving.html

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