Mission impossible was what many termed the Thai Cave Rescue Operations that gripped the world with its miraculous yet riveting story over the past 17 days.
Family, friends, Thais and foreigners banded and watched together with bated breath as the risky operation was carried out by a diverse group of international divers and Thai Navy SEALs.
12 boys (aged 11-16) and their coach were rescued in what many divers claimed was the toughest diving rescue operation in years.
The Wild Boar soccer team was first discovered by 2 British divers after the team was discovered to be missing on June 23rd.
You can read the complete timeline of the incident until before they were rescued here.
What followed was a heroic mission that inspired as much as it terrified
Divers guided the children from almost 4 kilometres underground by teaching them how to dive amidst murky waters and narrow tunnels.
Even as the constant threat from torrential rains posed possible unforeseen dangers and threats to the situation.
And the rescue team were faced with difficult choices. Bad ones, and worse ones. The team had to fight against mother nature itself to successfully rescue the victims.
A retired Thai Navy SEAL diver, Mr Saman Kunan, died during the rescue operation.
If you remember, there were several options the rescue team could make, one of which includes leaving the trapped group within the cave system until the rainy season ends.
Luckily for both the victims and the one who made the call, it seems that they’ve made the right choice this time.
By teaching the children cave-diving, a dangerous discipline that only a handful of divers are certified to do in the entire world.
And guiding them out through the water.
And just in the nick of time
It was revealed that just hours after the last boy left the cave, the main water pump died.
Rescue workers and divers who were clearing up equipment deep in the cave system reported water levels rising rapidly.
“All these headlights start coming over the hill and the water was coming … It was noticeably rising.”
Workers immediately ran for higher (and dryer) ground and managed to make it out of the exit safely.
So heroic Hollywood is considering making a movie out of it
If you think the harrowing rescue sounds exactly like a movie blockbuster with epic proportions of courage, inspiration and thrill, you’re not the only one.
Already, producers have expressed interest in adapting the story for the big screen.
Michael Scott, the CEO of Pure Flix Entertainment, a faith-based production company, said, “I see this as a major Hollywood film with A-list stars.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scott has already spoken to some of the divers from the rescue mission, and some family members of the children.
The movie production became personal for Scott after the death of Mr Kunan, who was his wife’s friend.
He has begun lining up screenwriters and appointed Adam Smith of Kaos Entertainment as co-producer of the film, budgeted at $30-60 million.
While this could well be a great way to honour everybody involved in the operation, the film production also sounds ominously similar.
Back in 2010, 33 Chilean miners were trapped underground for 69 days. A nail-biting rescue was carried out to save their lives.
It was later produced as a Hollywood film, The 33, starring Antonio Banderas.
The Consequences of Public Recognition
Unbeknownst to many, several of the 33 former gold miners have since suffered from a multitude of problems in the following publicity blitz and their rise to international fame.
Not limited to but including relationship breakdowns, psychological problems, and unemployment.
Fame can get addictive, and as former miner foreman, Urzua from Los 33, explained in an interview.
Often individuals and their families might find it hard to cope with the subsequent media attention along with the multitude of lawyers and politicians jockeying for the spotlight.
So, will the Hollywood movie for the Thai Cave Rescue be shot?
Probably, but it’s going to take a bit of effort.
To successfully gain the rights to shoot the film, the producers will have to get it from the boys’ families, the coach, and any of the divers they intend to portray in the film.
When you factor in the cost of shooting underwater, and the expensive equipment needed to replicate the monumental rescue, it seems the movie rendition of the rescue might be a tough one to make.
In the meantime, it is worthwhile to proceed with caution to protect and respect the perspectives of the children, their families, and the divers involved in the operation.
After all, they are the true heroes of this story and the ones who matter most.
Now you know what Singaporeans are talking about today; do check back tomorrow for another piece of news of the day!