Rescue Team Who Saved Soccer Team from Thai Cave Just Saved Sheep Trapped 25 Ft Underground


The Thai cave rescue that occurred in June and July will surely go down in the history books as one of the most dramatic missions man has ever organized. What made it all the more amazing was how the rescuers managed to save every single person.

Plenty of ink was spilled about the valor of the various participating organizations. Elon Musk got media coverage for his attempts to create a bespoke submersible.

The Thai Navy Seals were also praised for their valiant efforts. But most international news organizations didn’t pay much attention to the presence of a group of British rescuers.

They were certainly there. According to the BBC, members of the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team were among the first to reach the trapped boys.

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The United Kingdom might seem like a strange nation from which to source rescue divers given that it has only about 20,000 scuba enthusiasts, according to Gary Mitchell, the chairman of the rescue team. However, it also contains numerous caves, and experts have honed their skills while plumbing them.

“There are various dive rescue groups across the globe, but I would go as far to say that we are one of the top,” Mitchell said. “A lot of that is down to the fact that the U.K. is a hot bed for cave exploration, so we have a lot of experience.”

The group has also participated in mountain rescues and aided with automobile accidents. It even helped police look for a murder weapon.

Yet not every task the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team undertakes could be called glamorous. On Sept. 16, the team was called to help facilitate an entirely different sort of rescue.

The BBC said that a group of hikers heard a strange sound coming from a hole in Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. They told authorities that it was a bleating sound.

It turned out that a sheep had fallen down a hole. Indeed, the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team was aware of the missing animal.

Someone had contacted them in late August about a sheep that had fallen underground. Yet the team couldn’t find any trace of it.

Apparently, the sheep had slipped down a shakehole. That’s a section of terra firma that has collapsed inward, providing an opening to underground tunnels.

“The mountain is covered in them and it proved impossible to pinpoint which one the sheep was stuck in,” Mark Morgan, a volunteer with the team, said.

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Only the most recent report allowed them to track down the animal. The team soon arrived on the scene, but the inclement weather meant they couldn’t safely investigate the shaft.

When the weather cleared up, they sent a climber down a 25-foot shaft with a large plastic sack. He returned with the imperiled sheep.

“It was blinking in the daylight as it had obviously been in the dark for three weeks,” Morgan said. “I fed it some treats, a bit of hawthorn and some sheep nuts, and it staggered off to munch on a patch of grass.

“God knows how it survived so long. There was nothing to eat down there.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Wheaton College
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