Local cave rescue experts weigh in on Thailand rescue

After a dramatic 2 week long cave rescue in Thailand, local officers are urging those who explore local caves to use caution.

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Local cave rescue experts weigh in on Thailand rescue.

People across the world were crossing their fingers that rescuers had enough time to get this group to safety because more rain came through that could have posed more of a risk for rescuers and the soccer team.

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Here in Tennessee Valley, our cave rescue unit says call volume has gone down, but they think back to a time that was somewhat similar to the situation in Thailand.

After a dramatic 2 week long cave rescue in Thailand, local rescuers are urging those who explore local caves to use caution.

Buddy Lane says, “he was trapped in an air pocket without anyway out and we got him out of there. He was running out of air and asked the same type of situation that they had in Thailand.”

Lane works for Hamilton County’s Cave rescue unit and he’s referring to a 1992 cave rescue at Nickakjack Caves in South Pittsburgh.

Lanes believes, “it’s nothing compared to what those guys had to do over there like the dangers that the rescuer put themselves in just to save these boys. Everybody was just hoping for the best and looking for the worse… it was a terrible situation.”

He believes that 1992 rescue is the closest they’ve come to that type of situation because of the advancement of technology.

Lane says, “equipment has improved so much, access to training has improved a lot and access to organizations and especially good caving lights. That are super easy to get and they help the situation dramatically.”

As a rescuer with several years of experience, the Thailand rescue was one he followed closely.

“I have a feeling they never imagined that they will be diving multiple slumps for that great of a distance in a cave just to find these guys up on the ledge. It looked to me like it could flood any time with the monsoon,” says Lane.

Lane says that it is important to do your research because things like this can happen here, even if it won’t be nearly as bad.

“We have caves here in Tennessee Alabama and Georgia that flood in heavy rain fortunately those don’t say shut for days or months on end,” says Lane.

Resources for aspiring explorers: http://www.scci.org or http://caves.org.

To find a caving club near you, http://caves.org/committee/i-o/grottos/new_grotto_page-v2.shtml.

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