Thai Cave Rescue (Full Episode) | Drain the Oceans

Thai Cave Rescue (Full Episode) | Drain the Oceans

Tham Luang Cave Exploration and Rescue

  • A British team conducted the first-ever digital 3D survey of Tham Luang cave to understand the events of 2018 when 13 soccer players and their coach were trapped for 18 days.
  • The 3D model revealed that the boys were trapped at Sam Yek Junction, where two underground rivers meet, and the water level rose rapidly due to heavy monsoon rains.
  • The boys found refuge in Chamber 9, discovering a solitary shaft off the main passage and scrambling up 14 feet above the water line.

Rescue Operation

  • The rescue involved 17 cave divers, 200 air cylinders, a mile of rope, 10,000 volunteers from over 20 countries, and one death before the boys could be brought out of the cave.
  • The Thai authorities considered three options: waiting for the monsoon to pass, finding another route into the cave from above, or teaching the boys to scuba dive and escape through the flooded tunnels.
  • The only viable option was a long and perilous cave dive with air tanks, even for Thailand's diving elite, the Navy Seals.
  • A rescue plan was developed involving four cave divers, seven support divers, and nearly 100 other emergency personnel.
  • The first underwater extraction attempt ended in tragedy when a former Thai Navy Seal died during an overnight mission to place air cylinders inside the cave.
  • The divers decided to sedate the children to minimize the risk of panic and potential harm during the rescue.
  • The sedatives were tailored to each child's age and weight and had to be administered during the rescue because their effects lasted only an hour or less.
  • The rescue involved navigating through five sumps, each over 1,000 feet long, with low passages, constricted spaces, and the risk of losing contact with the guideline and the sedated children.
  • After five hours of caving and diving, the first boy, Note, was successfully rescued and handed over to the international rescue team in Chamber 3.
  • The first four boys were successfully rescued from Tham Luang cave.
  • Eight more children and the coach remained inside, requiring another 8 hours of diving and caving for each rescuer.
  • The divers headed back for a second group of boys and successfully rescued four more.
  • Chris Jewell lost the dive line while diving out with the 11th boy, Sompong Jaiwong, but managed to find it again and complete the rescue.
  • The agonizing wait was over as all 13 people were rescued from the flooded cave.


  • Three months later, divers Chris and Jason were reunited with the boys they saved on British TV.
  • The boys expressed their gratitude and love for the divers who brought them out of the cave.

Overwhelmed by Endless Content?