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Thirteen Lessons That Saved Thirteen Lives
Thirteen Lessons That Saved Thirteen Lives by John Volanthen is about the incredible cave rescue that involved British cave divers in Thailand in 2018, as written by one of the lead divers.
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Thirteen Lessons That Saved Thirteen Lives
Enjoy a free double-sided, laminated, caving-themed bookmark with your order
Thirteen Lessons That Saved Thirteen Lives by John Volanthen covers the widely reported cave diving rescue in Thailand in 2018. One of two lead divers, John's account is first-hand and a must-have title for your shelves. The circumstances surrounding the rescue by the international diving team that drew so immensely upon the BCRC personnel and divers in the UK is covered in detail in Descent issues (263), (264), (265) and (266). Now, we can learn the details of what really went on behind the scenes.
From the publisher:
Diver John Volanthen reveals how he pushed the limits of human endurance in the life-or-death mission to rescue the Thai youth soccer team trapped for over a week in a flooded cave.
The world held its breath in 2018 when the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach went missing deep underground in the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Thailand. They had been stranded by sudden, continuous monsoon rains while exploring the caves after practice.
As the torrential rain persisted and the waters continued to rise, an army of rescue teams and equipment was deployed, including Thai Navy SEALs, a US Air Force special tactics squadron, police sniffer dogs, drones and robots. But it was British cave diver John Volanthen and his partner, Rick Stanton, who were first to reach the stranded team and who played a key role in their ultimate rescue.
The picture of them alive on a ledge in a flooded cave made front page news worldwide. As John’s light flickered from one boy to another, he called out, ‘How many of you?’ ‘Thirteen,’ a boy answered. ‘Brilliant,’ he said. After 10 days trapped in desperate blackness, the boys and their coach were all alive.
Each chapter of Thirteen Lessons that Saved Thirteen Lives tells one part of the edge-of-your-seat mission from Tham Luang but also imparts a life lesson, gleaned from John’s previous rescues and record-breaking cave dives, that can be applied to everyday obstacles and challenges.
In this story of breathtaking courage and mental mastery, John reveals how responding positively to the statement, ‘But I can’t ...’ by stating, ‘I can,’ led to one of the most incredible rescues in history.
He hopes that his story will inspire the superhero in you.
For an extract from the text, see the Book Extract tab
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- 153mm x 235mm approx
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- Book: new
- Publication date:
- 1 June 2021
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- Published by Aurum
- John Volanthen
‘We are coming,’ I said, hoping to pass on the idea that their survival wasn’t entirely dependent on the actions of two middle-aged blokes from England. ‘Many people are coming. Believe . . .’
I said it again, to make absolutely sure they understood. ‘Believe.’
Every action and gesture was being captured on a headcam, and during the rescue’s aftermath, a lot of people watching the footage emailed me to express their gratitude. They believed my sole intention at that moment had been to reassure the boys that they were found and that people would soon be working to extract them. Full disclosure: while that was undoubtedly true, there was another, more selfish motive for pushing the idea. I was trying to convince myself.
Other than reassuring them that we would swim to the surface to tell the others of their survival, I was utterly powerless. Somewhat boldly, I then promised the children I would return with supplies, but as we made our way to the other bank to collect our equipment, Rick made it clear he thought that I had overreached a little. The truth is, I had really meant it. I felt absolutely responsible for those twelve kids and their coach who, without realising it, were perched on a knife-edge between survival and death. With a heavy sense of fore boding, I finned away down the dark tunnel.’
I had been navigating a zig-zagging course by moving around the bumps in the ceiling, while searching to locate every inch of space ahead, when, without warning ... everything became jammed. I was stuck fast. I felt around and realised my equipment had wedged me tight. The smaller cylinders I had so carefully positioned around my body on the surface had moved from their designated places and were being gripped by the rock around me; my hands were restricted by the cord of the flashlight and everything was entangled. Worse, a small gravel shelf had gathered in front of my chest and was blocking any forward movement. I would have to back out – if it were even possible. A smothering, bear hug of panic enfolded me.
Extracts from Thirteen Lessons that Saved Thirteen Lives by John Volanthen
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Jim Eyre was a legend in his own lifetime – a hard caver and ardent cave rescuer, but also a talented cartoonist and outrageous raconteur. His two-part autobiography comprising It's Only a Game and The Game Goes On is now available as a set with a considerable reduction in price.