The rescue of the 12 boys of the Wild Boars football team and their coach from the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave is forever etched in the memories of a worldwide audience who were glued to their screens as the drama unfolded two years ago.
Without any doubt the dramatic cave rescue included all the elements of heroism, tragedy, human endeavour and triumph against the odds to prove once again the old adage that ‘truth is stranger than fiction’.
In the aftermath a children’s book, entitled “All Thirteen”, an MGM movie, “Thirteen Lives”, directed by Ron Howard, a Netflix mini-series focusing on the kids, and a NatGeo documentary have all has been launched to contribute to the continued worldwide interest.
The latest event has been the Bangkok launch of “Where the Eagles Fly”, co-written and produced by Will Robinson of The Isan Project and performed by Daniel Ryan. It is an inspiring song specially written to pay tribute to British hero Vern Unsworth, who was the mastermind behind the successful rescue mission.
Apart from being able to listen to and view the song and music VDO, the Royal Coast Review was part of an enthralled audience on Thursday (October 15th), privileged to hear more of the story from two of the key participants in the rescue.
Senator Weerasak Kowsurat, the Minister of Tourism & Sports at that time, spoke about how he was persuaded to ‘bend the rules’ to enable an expert team of British cave divers and their equipment to be at the site in less than 24 hours,
Vern Unsworth, the mastermind behind the rescue mission was an enthralling speaker who revealed some amazing coincidences which proved to be the difference between success and tragedy.
As well as being very experienced British cave rescue divers, John Volanthen and Richard Stanton, along with Vern Unsworth, had all been engaged in cave exploration at the site just days before the plight of the trapped boys and their coach unfolded.
Vern was able to appear on the scene from his nearby by residence, convince the Navy Seals Commander that he really knew what he was talking about and then gain the confidence of Minister Weerask. The rescue then became a real possibility albeit fraught with danger and uncertainty.
Khun Tanes Petsuwan, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Deputy Governor, Marketing Communications (pictured right with Will Robinson) spoke about how the rescue has become a historic part of the ‘Amazing Thailand’ story; ”it’s about the people, not just the beaches, culture or scenic attractions.” In this case the amazing people included those from more than 20 countries as well as so many amazing Thai people.
There are many untold by-lines to the cave rescue story with any future Vern Unsworth memoirs bound to be compulsive reading when the time is right.
Our thanks to Will Robinson of The Isan Project for the opportunity to understand more about this amazing Thailand story and to meet Vern Unsworth; such an unassuming hero of such an extraordinary endeavour.