It was a rescue effort which caught the world’s attention and one Canadian diver was a part of it.
B.C. diver Erik Brown was one of the international divers who helped with the rescue effort to bring 12 boys and their soccer coach out of a flooded cave in northern Thailand.
“No one’s trained for this, I was terrified,” Brown said.
He said zero visibility, the current and small cracks to fit through in the cave made the dive difficult.
“It’s emotionally and physically draining, some of the trips we’d go on were 10 hours long.”
When he first arrived in Thailand, he did breathe a sigh of relief because they had finally located the children, turning the recovery mission into a rescue.
Brown said no other rescue mission like this had been done before so they were put on hold for a few days while plans were being made.
He said they used a small team of six divers, using four divers to place oxygen tanks and clean up lines as the water direction changed.
According to Brown, they had to watch the weather and rising water tables closely.
“They waited as long as they can to make sure they had the right people in place and as much planning and forethought as they could until time ran out and it had to be done.”
It took 18 days to find and rescue the boys and their coach.
Brown said he got a great birthday gift as well — his birthday was the day a video came out with all the kids waving in the hospital.
“You can’t really ask for anything better than that.”