Thailand kids trapped in cave didn’t ‘dive’ to get out, new book reveals
The children of the Thai caves were handcuffed and heavily sedated with ketamine during the dramatic rescue.
The story of the 12 Thai boys and their trainer trapped in a flooded cave went around the world. Graphs and infographics were produced that showed the risky rescue plan.
Liam Cochrane, correspondent of ABC Australia in Southeast Asia, tells in his new book the details of the rescue plan. For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa.
The book called "The Cave" revealed that during the rescue the children were slightly sedated to avoid panic during the rescue, but the truth is more complex.
The children received much stronger drugs and were handcuffed behind their backs to prevent them from tearing the mask in case they woke up.
"To calm the nerves, the parents were told that the children were being taught to dive and the media reported that each of them would be tied to an air hose and then swim with one rescue diver in front and one behind. ", writes Cochrane.
They were given a combination of three drugs. First, they were given a Xanax anxiolytic tablet to alleviate fear. Then, they injected ketamine into a muscle of the leg (five milligrams per kg of body weight), to put them to sleep. Finally, atropine, to reduce saliva in the mouth of children.
The one in charge of sedating the children was the Australian cave diver, Dr. Richard Harris, an anesthesiologist known as Dr. Harry. But Dr. Harry did not trust drugs to work:
"I thought there was zero chance of success." Others involved were more optimistic, but even they thought that up to five of the children would die. Meanwhile, in the cave, the boars were mentally prepared. When they were told what was going to happen, they didn't cry or moaned, they just accepted it, whatever was necessary to get out of that cave was fine for them."
He was not the only one, several lifeguards said that 5 children could lose their lives. Above all, after the death of one of the specialized rescuers, who died at 37 years of age during the operation.
Meanwhile, the parents of the children thought that they were being taught to dive. For their part, the media said that each child would be tied to an air hose and would swim with two divers, but that was not true.
On July 11, the first video of the children of the Wild Boars youth soccer team was released after the rescue. The picture shows some of the children recovering in the hospital; the 12 children spent 17 days trapped in the cave.