A summary of the Tham Luang Rescue

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This basic timeline of the Tham Luang rescue is focused on the British involvement between 23 June and 11 July 2018.

All times Thai time.

Saturday 23 June 2018
 
At around 16:00 a group of 12 teenage boys and their football coach from the Wild Boars football team visited Tham Luang on a pre-planned trip following football practice. The thirteen were:
Aekkapol Chanthawong                 25           Football coach
Pornchai Kamluang                         16           Ban Pa Yang School
Phirapat Sompiangjai                      16           Mae Sai Prasitsart School
Mongkol Boonyiam                        15           Ban Pa Mued School
Adul Sam-on                                     14           Ban Wiang Parn School
Prachak Sutham                14           Mae Sai Prasitsart School
Natthuwat Thakhamsai                  14           Mae Sai Prasitsart School
Pipat Pothi                                        14           Ban Sansai School
Aekkarat Wobgsukchan                 14           Daroonrat Witthaya School
Panumat Saengdae                         13           Mae Sai Prasitsart School
Duangpet Promtep                          13           Mae Sai Prasitsart School
Sompong Jaiwong                           13           Mae Sai Prasitsart School
Chanin Wiboonrungruang             11           Mae Sai Kindergarten School
They went 4 km from the entrance as far as the low duck called Tham Lab Lae (marked as voute basse on the 1987 French survey). On their return they found the passage sumped at a muddy U-bend just before getting back to Sam Yaek, the junction with Monk's Series. Whilst they were in the cave 15 mm of rain had fallen in one hour, and the cave had flooded via the Monk's Series.
 
When they didn't return home their parents contacted the police who called out the Mae Sai Rescue Unit at 21:00. On arrival at the cave the Rescue Unit found the lads bicycles and shoes. At 22:00 14 members of the first rescue party entered the cave. However, they found the cave flooded just past Sam Yaek.
 
Upon leaving the cave the Sirikorn Rescue Unit in Chiang Rai were called out as they had diving equipment.
 
Sunday 24 June 2018
 
At midnight the Governor of Chiang Rai, Narongsak Osatanakorn, is informed of the trapped party and he arrives at the cave at 01:00.
At 02:00 locally based British caver Vern Unsworth is called out and along with 22 members of the Sirikorn Rescue Unit they enter the cave. However, they are unable to dive through the sumped section.
 
Thai cavers Noppadon 'Taw' Uppakham and Anukoon 'Guer' Sorn-Ek are involved with the rescue by the afternoon. Unsworth informs Rob Harper and Martin Ellis, who are in the UK about the rescue.
Narongsak, who is in charge of the rescue operations, requests help from the Thai Navy and a team of Thai Navy divers flies up from Sattahip in the evening.
By the evening the international media is starting to show an interest in the story.
 
Monday 25 June 2018
 
02:45 20 Thai Navy divers from Sattahip are on site led by Captain Anan Surawan. The Thai Navy go to the sump past Sam Yaek and work on the small muddy underwater hole and eventually get through. However, the Wild Boars aren't there and as the cave soon sumps again the Navy are unable to progress further.
 
Harper suggests to Unsworth that experienced cave divers are required. Harper knows the cave and he has warned British cave divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen to be on standby. However, an official callout from the Thai authorities is required so the British cavers e-mail the Thai embassy in the UK and start to work their contacts to get the official invite.
 

Tuesday 26 June 2018
 
It starts to rain hard, and the cave starts to flood from Sam Yaek almost back to Chamber 3. This means no further rescue attempts can be made. Over the next couple of days it rains at 6 mm/hr. causing the cave to flood almost back to the entrance.
The Department of Mineral Resources start to coordinate the surface work and are in contact with Ellis who sends them surveys and caving reports. The rescue effort at the cave ramps up and hundreds of people from many organizations are involved.
In the evening Unsworth hands Narongsak and the Tourism Minister, Weerasak Kowsurat, a handwritten note with the three British cave diver's names and forcibly points out they need to be called out as soon as possible if the Wild Boars are to stand any chance of being rescued. Weerasak phones Harper in the UK and Harper, Stanton and Volanthen are mobilized to Thailand that evening by the British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC).
 
Wednesday 27 June 2018
 
Rain overnight with a downpour at 04:45 causes the water to rise 15 cm in 1 hour and forces the rescuers back to Chamber 3. Diving teams had reentered on Wednesday morning, but could make no progress. There is a big effort to get pumps and hoses into the cave.
 
Teams from the army, police, National Park Department and volunteers search for other entrances and shafts on top of the mountain.
 
19:30 Harper, Stanton and Volanthen arrive at Tham Luang. They go straight to the cave with Unsworth, but it is flooding quickly and they are unable to get to the point reached on Monday (Sam Yaek).
 
Thursday 28 June 2018
 
The cave floods causing rescuers to retreat from Chamber 3 to Chamber 2. Four Thai water researchers get trapped in Chamber 3 and have to be rescued by Stanton and Volanthen. By the evening the cave is sumped 200m from entrance - between the entrance and chamber 2
Harper and Unsworth conduct a surface search at Pha Mi, above the Monk's Series, and find two shafts.
The US Air Force Rescue team arrive from Okinawa.
The surface teams start work on diverting the stream that flows into the Monk's Series.
 
Friday 29 June 2018
 
Thai Navy have to dive between Chamber 2 and Chamber 3 and can only get 100 m upstream from Chamber 3 due to the strong current.
 
At Pha Mi, Harper and Unsworth investigate of the shafts found on 28 June, leaving the other to a police general.
 
The Australian Federal Police Specialist Response Group arrive, along with yet more Thai Navy divers.
 
At Sai Thong work commences to clear the resurgences and pump out the water.


 
Saturday 30 June 2018
 
Thai Navy and foreign divers, who include Ben Reymenants, Maksym Polejaka, Bruce Konefe, Rafael Aroush and Shlomi Aroush, slowly push upstream. A thick rope guideline is installed along with many bailout cylinders.
 
Harper, Unsworth & Volanthen visit Sai Thong resurgence. The large 'Naga' pumps also arrive at the resurgence.
 
The flood water in the cave continues to drop.
 
Sunday 1 July 2018
 
There has been no rain for the past 36 hours. The water levels are dropping and the underwater visibility is improving.
 
Birds'-nest collectors from Trang arrive to help with the surface searches.
Chinese rescue divers from Beijing Peaceland Foundation arrive.
 
14:30 Stanton and Volanthen about to dive upstream from Chamber 3.
15:50 Light rain falls at the cave
23:30 Stanton and Volanthen return having pushed out the line to Sam Yaek.
 
Monday 2 July 2018
 
14,000 rai of farmland has been flooded by pumping at Sai Thong, affecting 101 farmers.
Surface teams start work on diverting the stream that sinks at the southern end of Tham Luang.
 
Thailand based diving instructors Claus Rasmussen, Ivan Karadzic and Erik Brown arrive at cave.
 
Stanton and Volanthen dive again and push the line a further 750 m from Sam Yaek.
22:00 Stanton and Volanthen back at Chamber 3 after 5½ hour trip.
22:40 The news breaks that all 13 Wild Boars have been found alive, 750 m past Sam Yaek at a place later named Nern Nom Sao.
 
Tuesday 3 July 2018
 
Ben Reymenants, Maksym Polejaka and Bruce Konefe leave Tham Luang.
 
22:00 Six Thai Navy and one Army doctor enter cave to go to Nern Nom Sao.
 
Wednesday 4 July 2018
 
14:30 BCRC starts to mobilize Chris Jewell and Jason Mallinson (divers), Mike Clayton and Gary Mitchell (cave rescue coordinators) and Martin Ellis (Thai cave expert).
 
Jewell and Mallinson fly to Thailand on the evening flight, Harper leaves Tham Luang.
 
21:00 Three Thai Navy divers return to Chamber 3 after being away for 23 hours. Only 3 can make return journey as they used 3 out of their 4 cylinders on way in and leaving not enough air for all 7 to make the return dive. They take 23 hours for the return journey as they have to rest on their way out.
 
Thursday 5 July 2018
 
Stanton & Volanthen to Nern Nom Sao with supplies and oxygen meter, which reads 15%. 5 hour return trip.
Thai Navy divers, with three stage cylinders each, start to stage cylinders at 3 stations (Chamber 5, 6 and 7?). Cylinders staged at Second Station (Chamber 6?) by four foreign (Rasmussen, Mikko Paasi, Brown and Karadzic diving in pairs to stage 3 cylinders each) and two Thai divers.
10:30 Saman Kunan + one Thai Navy diver dive to stage cylinders at Second Station. Meet Rasmussen + one foreigner on way in.
 
Clayton, Mitchell and Ellis take midday flights to Thailand.
Jewell and Mallinson arrive at Tham Luang in evening.
 
Friday 6 July 2018
 
01:30 One Thai diver arrives back at Chamber 3 alone after 15 hours. Other Thai divers then recover the body of Thai Navy diver Saman Kunan which was near Chamber 3.
10:30 Clayton, Mitchell and Ellis arrive at Tham Luang.
12:00 Stanton, Volanthen, Jewell and Mallinson to cave with Unsworth and Chiang Mai based cavers Mario Wild and Surachet 'Add' Kongsingh to help carry. Stanton and Volanthen only go as far as Chamber Three (water levels dropping so the dive base in Chamber 3 can now be reached without diving). Jewell and Mallinson dive to Nern Nom Sal taking supplies to the Wild Boars and the four Thai military.
14:30 Stanton & Volanthen back after trip to dive base at Chamber 3.
18:15 Dr. Richard Harris arrives at cave from Australia.
18:20 Unsworth, Wild and Add into cave with 3 USAF to look at where to place bolts for highwires, etc. The USAF team hadn't been in a cave before.
20:05 Jewell and Mallinson back from Nern Nom Sao with written messages from the kids.
20:50 Narongsak has a briefing from the divers.
21:00 Unsworth, Wild and Add back from cave with the dive kit.
 
High level political meetings to brief the Thai authorities and receive outline permission for the rescue plan.
 
BCRC starts to mobilize cave divers Jim Warny from Ireland, Connor Roe and Josh Bratchley from UK.
 
Saturday 7 July 2018
 
Paasi, Brown, Rasmussen and Karadzic staging bottles in the cave.
12:15 Stanton, Volanthen, Jewell & Mallinson to local swimming pool with Thai doctors to try out face masks, packaging, etc. on local schoolchildren.
13:00 Dr Harris and Challen enter cave to go to Nern Nom Sao to assess the Wild Boars.
13:10 Unsworth and Mitchell to Chamber 3.
13:55 Team of 7 from Chiang Mai climbers & rope access to Chamber 2 to start bolting and installing the high lines.
14:45 Unsworth and Mitchell back from cave. Pumping operations are continuing to lower water levels in the 3 "sumps" before Chamber 3.
15:50 British divers back from swimming pool after a successful testing session.
18:00 Divers off to The Big Briefing for tomorrow's rescue operation.
18:30 Full scale walk through in the car park of the rescue plan with all the divers and support.
19:15 Dr Harris and Challen back from cave.
19:30 Start of another very high level political meeting to brief the Thai authorities and at 22:45 receive the go ahead with the rescue.
 
Saturday 8 July 2018
 
08:00 Start to remove the journalists from the cave site to a district council building 5 km away.
08:20 – 09:15 Diver briefing followed by the medical briefing. 
09:55 Roe and Warny arrive at cave. Stanton, Volanthen, Jewell and Mallinson to UASF camp for the final briefing



10:00 Stanton, Volanthen, Jewell and Mallinson enter cave.
10:20 Dr Harris and Challen enter the cave.
10:30 Paasi, Brown, Rasmussen and Karadzic enter cave
11:50 All divers in Chamber 3. 4 set off, other 6 to go when ready
13:41 Roe and Warny heading to cave to go to Chamber 5 to assist with cylinder changes
14:45 Roe and Warny on their way from Chamber 3.

 8 July Rescue Divers
Chamber 5 Warny and Roe
Chamber 6 Brown and Karadzic
Chamber 7-8 Challen, Rasmussen and Paasi
Chamber 9 Harris, Volanthen, Stanton, Jewell and Mallinson
 
 
15:29 Heavy shower. Forecast to be approx. 20mm and with similar in catchment area.
16:50 Wild Boar 1 in chamber 3 with Mallinson.
16:58 Wild Boar 2 in chamber 3 with Volanthen, who stays in cave until all are out.
17:41 Wild Boar 1 out of cave. Panic at the medical centre as the Thai medics can't get mask off as they are afraid of breaking it and the oxygen cylinder is down to 300 psi. They fetch Clayton and suit him up to enter medical tent, but before he is allowed in a US military medical Major rushes in, brushes aside the Thai medics and removes the mask.
17:56 Mallinson back at  UK dive base from the cave.
17:58 Wild Boar 2 at cave entrance.
18:46 Wild Boar 3 in chamber 2 with Jewell.
19:04 Wild Boar 4 in Chamber 3 with Stanton
19:12 Wild Boar 3 is out of cave
19:30 Bratchley arrives at Tham Luang
19:32 Dr Harris back in Chamber 3
19:35 Challen back in Chamber 3
19:47 All 12 rescue divers back in Chamber 3
21:30 Debrief for the rescue operations team followed by a debrief and planning meeting for the divers.
 
Monday 9 July 2018
 
25-32 mm rain in the 24 hrs. to midnight with no rain since.
08:33 Brief the Thai Medical chief who then briefs the Thai leadership.
08:42 Water levels as far as Chamber 3 still dropping overnight, despite yesterday's rain
11:02 Harris, Challen Stanton, Volanthen, Jewell and Mallinson leave chamber 3.
11:25 Chiang Mai climbers and Unsworth enter cave to operate the highlines.
11:57 Paasi, Brown, Rasmussen and Warny leave Chamber 3.
12:35 Roe and Bratchley enter cave.
 
 9 July Rescue Divers
Chamber 5 Bratchley and Roe
Chamber 6 Brown and Warny
Chamber 7-8 Challen, Rasmussen and Paasi
Chamber 9 Harris, Volanthen, Stanton, Jewell and Mallinson
 
15:33 Wild Boar 5 in chamber 3 with Mallinson.
16:29 Wild Boar 5 out of cave
17:23 Wild Boar 6 in Chamber 3 with Volanthen.
17:34 Wild Boar 7 in Chamber 3 with Jewell and Warny
18:10 Wild Boar 8 in chamber 3 with Stanton.
18:23 Wild Boar 6 on surface.
18:30 Wild Boar 7 on surface. Brown, Challen, Dr Harris, Paasi and Rasmussen in Chamber 3.
18:48 Roe and Bratchley in Chamber 3.
Body core temps of the 4 children rescued today was 34.5°C and up. Water temperature is 23°C and the air temperature is estimated to be 20°C.
 
Based on the tally board at the entrance between 200 and 250 people are in the cave for the rescue, but only 12 divers go upstream of Chamber 3.
 
19:30 Wild Boar 8 on surface
19:39 Chiang Mai climbers and Unsworth back from cave.
21:00 Divers meeting for tomorrow's rescue. Weather forecast is OK until midnight.
 
Tuesday 10 July 2018
 
02:00 Elon Musk and his team visit the cave to Chamber 3, but without the rescue pod which remained at the temple away from the cave site used by the Thai Navy as a base.
 
08:00 arrive at Tham Luang in the rain. 5.8 mm of rain from 0000 to 0800 in the 2.69 sq. km Monk's Series catchment, 1 mm more than yesterday. Today is probably the last weather window, and it isn't a big window.
09:00 Diver's briefing. Also a separate large briefing for the Thai support
09:20 Diver's briefing finished.
10:00 Harris, Challen Stanton, Volanthen, Jewell, Mallinson, Paasi, Brown, Rasmussen and Warny enter cave.
11:10 Roe and Bratchley enter cave.
11:00 Harris, Challen Stanton, Volanthen, Jewell and Mallinson leave chamber 3.
11:40 Paasi, Brown, Rasmussen and Warny leave chamber 3
12:45 Stopped raining outside the cave with a hint of blue sky.
12:55 Roe and Bratchley leave Chamber 3
 
 10 July Rescue Divers
Chamber 5 Bratchley and Roe
Chamber 6 Brown
Chamber 7-8 Challen, Rasmussen, Paasi and Warny
Chamber 9 Harris, Volanthen, Stanton, Jewell and Mallinson
 
15:16 Wild Boar 9 (the coach) in chamber 3 with Warny
15:36 Wild Boar 10 in chamber 3 with Volanthen
16:15 Wild Boar 9 out of cave.
16:20 Wild Boar 11 (the smallest) in chamber 3 with Stanton
16:36 Wild Boar 10 out of cave
16:37 Wild Boar 12 is detected on the dive line
17:00 Wild Boar 12 can no longer be felt on the dive line (Jewell was with Wild Boar 12, but he lost the line. He found an electrical cable which he followed back to Chamber 4. Here Mallinson, with Wild Boar 13, went past him. Dr Harris then took Wild Boar 12 and came out followed by Jewell.)
17:04 Wild Boar 11 out of cave
17:49 Wild Boar 13 in Chamber 3 with Mallinson
18:02 Wild Boar 13 in Chamber 3 with Dr Harris and Jewell.
18:03 Brown in chamber 3
18:15 Paasi chamber 3
18:17 Rasmussen chamber 3
18:21 Roe and Bratchley in Chamber 3
18:27 Challen in Chamber 3.
18:53 Wild Boar 12 in the hospital and Wild Boar 13 at cave entrance
20:46 Chiang Mai rope access and Unsworth out of cave
21:00 Two Thai military from Chamber 9 are in Chamber 3.
21:02 Third Thai military from Chamber 9 in Chamber 3
21:10 Fourth and final Thai military diver from Chamber 9 back in chamber 3. At this point a water pipe coupling breaks causing the water to rise rapidly between Chambers 3 and 2. With ~50 people in Chamber 3 it causes a rapid retreat to Chamber 2.
 
Wednesday 11 June 2018
 
10:00 At the cave to pack up the kit. Need 3 vans for all the kit and people.
13:00 Leave Tham Luang