Post by Carolyn Brockmeier (USA) on Jul 4, 2018 22:44:10 GMT
Dear Admiral Yuukongkaew: (please forward this message immediately)
As a former skin and scuba diver, I believe that I can offer a solution that might be just a bit better than training the boys to swim, putting them in full face masks and guiding them to the top. Instead of using face masks and scuba gear, why not encapsulate the boys completely before pulling and carrying them to the top. If you took old Mark 5 hard hat diving suits and retrofitted them by removing weight and detaching the umbilicus and attaching scuba tanks, you could encapsulate each boy in an environment that would guarantee his air supply all the way to the surface. Whereas, with the current proposed method, if a boy begins sucking in muddy water, he could easily panic and drown, even with a rescue diver alongside.
What you'd need to do is retrofit the diving suits to accommodate scuba tanks and remove as much extra weight as possible. Then train the boys how to use the suits. The suits will be way too big for the boys, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that they'll have an uninterrupted supply of air all the way to the top, even if they panic and start wiggling. Admittedly, the suits will be heavy (123 kilos, depending on the wt. of each boy), so you'll need several divers at each check point to put the boys on stretchers and carry them through the dry areas. One diver in each area should be a native Thai speaker. You can open the face plate and communicate with the boys when you're in dry areas. This reassurance will be invaluable to the boys. You can also teach the boys basic hand signals and give each boy a "comfort" flashlight for his journey topside.
Although this presents a heavier burden for the rescue divers, I believe it's far safer than exposing young frightened boys to a harrowing environment that could turn into an undersea grave. You wouldn't even need 13 suits. With three or four converted diving suits, you could start a slow procession that would get everybody topside within a few days.
Thank you for your prompt consideration in this matter.