Kezia Dugdale: Thai boys face quarantine in this real-life disaster movie
The story of the young Thai footballers trapped in caves four kilometres from fresh air and dry land is one of the most incredible stories of our time.
Not since 33 men were caught in a Chilean gold mine in 2010 has such an event captured our imaginations or stoked our worst fears.
In all the coverage I’ve read so far, I’m none the wiser as to how the boys got there in the first place.
I’m all for adventures, but I just can’t see the appeal in scrambling underground through dangerous caves, knowing the slightest change in weather could fill the path behind you and make it impassable.
It took 11 days for the location of the boys to be identified by two British divers who are experts in their chosen pastime.
They did so in full wetsuits, with double oxygen tanks, after having built up years of diving experience and the full working knowledge of the caves they were in. The boys had none of these things.
As the authorities considered the moral maze facing them, an experienced Thai naval officer lost his life while planning the kids’ escape route.
As if proof was required of the dangers at stake.
Miraculously the first rescue mission saw four boys make it out for air, having followed a rope for miles in the pitch black, accompanied by two divers either side carrying their oxygen tank.
The boys’ ordeal isn’t over yet, they’re now in quarantine because of the potential diseases the cave’s bats carry.
As I write this, the next part of the rescue mission is underway.
It’s a real-life disaster movie and we’re all looking on in horror – and in hope.