A FOREIGN diver, who had helped rescue 12 soccer boys and their coach from the flooded Tham Luang cave last month, and his friend were themselves rescued in southern Nakhon Si Thammarat province after strong floodwaters swept their pickup truck into a canal, Sanook.com reported this morning (Aug. 10, 2018).
The 2 cave divers, Mr Klaus, 50, from Denmark, who was among the cave divers who had rescued the trapped Wild Boars soccer team last month, and Mr Kim, 35, from Singapore, were spotted sitting on the roof of their submerged pickup truck which was full of expensive diving gear by local villagers who quickly called rescuers to help, and they rushed there on 2 boats.
Later soldiers from adjacent Krabi province also joined the rescue effort.
The 2 cave divers told the rescuers that they had gone diving at Hong caves in Thung Yai district, and after doing so, were driving to Phuket by using GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation system.
GPS led them to a shortcut via a village road and as they passed Sing Poon canal, which marks the boundary between the provinces, they ran into high floods. However, they decided to continue driving through the floodwaters, but after a while ran into very strong currents which swept the pickup truck into the canal.
They added that they were lucky their vehicle hit a big palm tree next to the canal, if not it would have been swept further down the canal.
Lots of villagers first helped bring the 2 foreigners out, and then all their expensive diving gear. After rescuers and solders reached the scene, they were able to also pull the vehicle out of the canal.
The whole rescue operation lasted an hour and the 2 foreign divers thanked everyone for their kindness.
Top: Mr Klaus sitting on the roof of his sunken pickup truck at right, and a rescuer stands next to the submerged pickup truck at left. Photo: Sanook.com
In-text: The submerged pickup truck. Photo: Sanook.com