After two weeks of a dramatic event which has seen the eyes of the world turned towards Thailand, the technology giant Elon Musk has decided to kick in to assist with the effort to rescue twelve Thai teenagers aged between eleven and sixteen including their football coach trapped in a flooded cave. The boys and their coach went into the cave for an excursion and routine exercises which led them to their current fate.
The rescue operation has seen professional divers from several countries such as Australia, Japan, China, Israel to mention but a few, pouring into the country to aid in the rescue operation. As of Sunday, which saw the beginning of the first major effort by rescuers to extract the boys from the cave, four of the thirteen boys was rescued and airlifted to a nearby hospital. One of the first to be rescued is the coach of the team. The United States has also flown in some of its navy seals from their base on the Japanese Island of Okinawa to join the multinational group of rescuers.
The boys are trapped more than a half mile deep down the cave which experts describe as a very difficult to extract them out due to the fact that the cave’s path goes up and down and has been flooded with water from recent heavy rains. The professional divers have to deal with the daunting task of getting the boys out as they have to deal with the path filled with water, narrow path and darkness.
Another challenge to the rescue is that some of the boys are unable to swim and even those who can swim will have to stay under the murky water for quite a long time and deal with the water current which can lead to panic which rescuers are trying as much as possible to avoid. So far the boys are said to be in high spirit and were very excited when rescuers reached them.
Elon Musk, the engineer and CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX has sent his own team of experts to assist with the rescue operation to get the boys out of the cave. He came out with a brilliant idea to invent a kid-sized submarine which is small enough to manoeuvre through the narrow paths of the flooded cave. He also said the submarine is light enough to be carried by two divers to reach the stranded teenagers. Musk also sent engineers from his Boring and SpaceX Company to examine the cave and to come out with conclusions on how best they could possibly use technology to rescue the boys. His mini-submarine project has already been completed and is being tested in California. The new invention is said to arrive in Thailand in the next seventeen hours.
As of yesterday, 9th July, eight boys had already been rescued and the remaining four are expected to be extracted from the cave by the close of the day to bring the two weeks long dramatic event to an end. It is not clear if Mr. Musk new invention will be able to reach Thailand in time to assist the operation, but nonetheless, this is a great invention which can be useful in future operations.
By William Akuffo-Addo