You can hear Stanton counting in the background and Volanthan's calm voice saying, "How many are you? And I remember looking up and saying, "The cave tried to keep us today.". We dropped down to the sea floor and moved our way inside. And, very quickly, that current picked up again. "Every time I came back he would be a different person," he told Lorraine. British diver John Volanthan, the IT consultant, believed Tham Luang would be no different. 'Mother Nature Had Given Us A Final Warning'. And I felt it all the way through to my toes. Luckily he found the guideline in the total blackness and was able to move on. Engineers, hydrologists, and drilling teams pounded the rocks to pump out groundwater, flooding the rice fields of hundreds of poor Thai rice farmers who lost their crop and asked for no compensation. We're being sucked inside the iceberg.' I realized we had found it. They knew that there was no way to mount a rescue. You always want more. And it was about 130 feet deep — deeper than we originally thought we might want to dive in Antarctica. So there was this deep vertical fissure crack. The moment I saw this white pinnacle of ice for the first time, standing like a mountain on the ocean, my heart was racing. We were all very experienced cave explorers. The Thai Navy Seals, along with a group of European expat technical divers who ran dive shops among Thailand's lush coastal islands were struggling to push past a large cavern that was the at end of the typical tourist route about a half mile inside the cave. And then I remembered these little ice fish that we'd been studying that were about the size of my thumb. So I looked around. . Our. And he yelled out, "Help me with the camera! Ben Reymenants, a Belgian expat diver from Phuket, was an early volunteer, and told a reporter it was like "dropping to the bottom of the Colorado River and hand over hand fighting your way upstream.". So, as we approach these giant blocks of ice, we searched for a way around and through them and slowly, bit by bit, found a way out. Teams of volunteer rock climbers, even famed bird-nest collectors of Libong Island, had scoured the mountain's deep sinkholes looking for an alternative route to the boys. That was ruled out when divers measured oxygen levels in the cave and found they'd already fallen to 15 percent from the normal 21 percent in the atmosphere. My friends and I spent the whole day in that cave, searching for anything exciting and new we could find. And as we were having a meal, we heard screams on deck. So we decided that we were going to go to Antarctica and be the first people to ever cave dive inside an iceberg. They were cold, hungry, and ready to see their families again. Volanthan and Stanton were determined to go as far as they could that day, using their air supply sparingly. It's just ice. The cave divers dropped everything and flew to the Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand to help, joining an international team of technical divers from Thailand, military and rescue divers from the U.S., Australia, and China, and the formidable Thai Navy Seals who were in charge of the search in the midst of a glaring global media spotlight. The divers built special harnesses for the boys with handles on their backs so they could swim them out like human duffle bags. There’s also a Rich Chocolate & Hazelnut Shimmer Cake, not to mention new After-Eight muffin, Seventy coronavirus outbreaks 'rip through north east care homes and hospitals', A report says 70 separate coronavirus outbreaks struck hospitals and care homes across the North East on Monday as cases and deaths surge in the hard-hit region, Coronavirus holiday quarantine 'to be slashed in half from 14 days to one week', Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claimed his coronavirus testing plans would get more people flying in the months ahead. We knew there was another exit. She’s done work for PBS, National Geographic and the BBC, and she’s one of the most accomplished cave divers on the planet. One minute is dangerous. Slowly and methodically, one by one, each boy donned a wetsuit, was given a Xanex, then injected with ketamine, a heavy sedative that has the added benefit of scrambling memories. I felt like a gnat on the back of the planet. And they started raining down from cracks over my head and crawling along the floor and hitting my camera and landing on my shoulder. https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/steve-backshall-reveals-almost-died-15018918 And they together managed to work the camera towards the entrance. No boys. This ice is endangered. By the next day I thought, "OK, I know more than I did yesterday. But it was deemed too complicated and too dangerous. The entrance looked stable, and everything looked fine. They wouldn't survive a month. It was that loud. And so coming back to the doorway of a cave and finding that suddenly closed is like, "Oh, my God." But what we didn't understand, really, was the environment we were going to put ourselves into in these iceberg caves. But the sea floor was red and orange and yellow — every warm color — and the contrast was stunning. And I was mad at him too because I thought, "Come on you guys, you can't do this.". And we realized the current had us. Some of the rescuers calculated their chance of survival at 10 percent at best. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Another to an IT consultant 80 miles away in Bristol. The Tham Luang cave was flooding fast, and soon the monsoon would begin, sealing the 12 boys, aged 11 to 17, and their coach in a watery tomb. Celebrating, obviously. "We were faced with an impossible decision," says Volanthan. And it was so strong. I was just standing there, gobsmacked on the ship's rail. But none of them had diving experience. The three-day rescue was not without difficulties. And we've got to get him into the boat. One plan involved drilling a tunnel into the cavern similar to the one that saved the Chilean miners in 2010. While many around the world were aghast when they found out the details, the boys were surprisingly okay with it. We had to hang in the water about 20 feet deep before we could rise back to the surface. It was pressing us back down every time I tried to move up. At first he was totally opposed to the plan. ", (Meet the trailblazer who hiked 8,000 miles in a year. He’s wearing, basically, a bag full of water. "You have to be in control.". By the time he'd shot a minute of footage, he was almost incapacitated. You're an idiot.". (Meet the world's best rock climber you've (probably) never heard of.). Matthew Stock Twitter Assistant Producer, Only A GameMatthew is an assistant producer at Only A Game. This was the coldest dive either of them had ever been on. And so I felt very privileged. At cavern three the boys would be given a medical check by the U.S. military team and passed along to a hundred or so rescuers from a half dozen nations who gently passed them along on a rescue sled. The only path left was to dive the boys and their coach out. I remember getting back to the boat after the dive. (Meet the super climbers who came to the rescue on the 'Killer Mountain'. And who could blame them? He and his diving partner, ex-fireman Richard Stanton, arrived the Wednesday after the boys went missing on Saturday, and slowly, steadily began pulling themselves upstream, fixing heavy climbing rope along the route for others to follow. It was a truly international and community effort. "We thought it was decomposing bodies," Volanthan said, until their flickering flashlights revealed the boys gaunt but smiling facesâimmortalized in a helmet cam video that soon went viral around the world. And, dropping your face in the water, the first thing you see is this mixing slurry of slush and melting fresh water mixed with the saltwater. It's very much a meditative state of mind. So every breath marches me either ever closer to success or ever closer to death. And then, all of a sudden, there were these isopods. How are we going to climb these walls?" And in the process of that chain being yanked up onto the boat, the boat moved, and I saw a small glimpse of the stern swing around the edge of the vertical side of the iceberg. He decided that the images that we'd brought back were so compelling that he wanted to shoot it with the best camera that we had. The narrowest pinch point only less than two feet wide. And I remember at one point a very deep groaning vibration sounded. The doctor and three Seals had run out of air on the way in and would stay with the boys until the end. The boys would have to pass through at least a half mile of passages that were completely flooded to the ceiling. And I am not fearless. All rights reserved. Inside of the cave was a wonderful land where the colors were brighter, the sounds were more real, and the air was fresher. When you think there's a possibility you might die and everything's out of your control. Appearing on Lorraine today, he spoke about how shooting BBC series Undiscovered Worlds certainly wasn't smooth sailing. One plan was to stock the boys with food to last for six months until the water subsided. And, "Boy, you were lucky. It was simply a hypothesis. But, when we finally turned around on that dive and worked our way back slowly to the entrance, there were big, giant pieces of ice where we had entered this cave. Unfortunately, filming the series didn't come at the best time as his son had just been born. And I had the sense that I was looking at something that would never be the same again. And then you have to sort of push that aside, and the little chunks of ice, and then slowly descend down, dropping into this unknown. So we prepped our equipment, we went to have a meal and sit down and plan one more dive — a dive that we would do at the moment when the current slackened. And Paul dropped back to help Wes. Brilliant!". It was sculptural. ), Harris was called in for both his cave diving expertise and his medical skills, being only one of only two known cave-diving anesthesiologists in the world. It was an iceberg the size of Jamaica. Some ran the pumps or diverted the streams at the top of the cave to keep the water at bay, buying the boys precious time. In a tragic emphasis of the point, a former Thai Navy Seal named Saman Gunan, an experienced diver, died while shuttling air tanks into the cave.