The Thai Cave Rescue started approximately 40 minutes ago in Thailand. Since the media have been forced out of the main rescue area, and a tarp was constructed to shield it from the view of cameras, there’s no word of exactly what’s going on, other than the rescue was started, and Elon Musk’s engineers reportedly built a kid-sized submarine.
About 9 hours ago, the maker of the Tesla car line and the Space X Falcon 9 said via Twitter, and as reported here at Oakland News Now “Some good feedback from cave experts in Thailand. Iterating with them on an escape pod design that might be safe enough to try. Also building an inflatable tube with airlocks. Less likely to work, given tricky contours, but great if it does.” Then, Musk followed up with “Got more great feedback from Thailand. Primary path is basically a tiny, kid-size submarine using the liquid oxygen transfer tube of Falcon rocket as hull. Light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps. Extremely robust.”
On Twitter Sacha asked Mr. Musk “Any way to hitch the front with a cable so divers get some assistance pulling forward in underwater portions? Believe holding vertical level requires less energy for divers than pulling forward while swimming. Maybe have several hitch points in cave to have right angle?” Mr. Musk tweeted “4 handles/hitch points on front & 4 on rear. 2 air tank connections on front & 2 on rear, allowing 1 to 4 tanks simultaneously connected, all recessed for impact protection w secondary cap seal if leak develops.”
Alec Peeples inquired “Confirmed to maneuver through even the most narrow passages?” Mr. Musk said simply “Yes.”
Thai cave rescue: Window Narrows Before Heavy Rains
The reason the Thai Cave Rescue is under way now, is that what has been described as “monsoon” rains, started and would eventually fill the cave, making rescue attempts all but impossible without loss of life. Thus. the Thailand Government has declared this moment “D-Day.”
The updates have it that a team of 13 international divers and 5 Thai divers entered the cave at 10 am Thailand time. The first of the 12 boys is expected to be brought out of the cave around 10 am ET Sunday morning. And reports are that the Thai Cave Rescue might continue through Tuesday, depending on the rains.