Eighteen Days: 23 June – 10 July 2018
Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, and Joel Edgerton will star in Ron Howard’s MGM Thai Cave Rescue film “Thirteen Lives.” This month, filming for the movie will begin in Australia and Thailand with the support of both governments. This will be a huge hit with divers from around the world.
Members of a junior football team trapped inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand, were rescued in a widely publicized cave rescue in June and July 2018, while the world watched with bated breath. After football practice on June 23, twelve members of the squad, ranging in age from eleven to sixteen, and their 25-year-old assistant coach entered the cave for a party. Heavy rains soon followed, partly flooding the cave and obstructing their exit.
The rescue effort grew into a multinational operation as a result of widespread public attention and the participation of international rescue teams. British divers John Volanthen and Richard Stanton discovered the party alive on an elevated rock about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) from the cave mouth on July 2nd, after advancing through narrow passages and murky waters.
This operation claimed the lives of two divers. On the 6th of July, Saman Kunan, a 37-year-old former Thai Navy SEAL, died of asphyxiation while returning to a staging base in the cave after delivering air supplies. Beirut Pakbara, a rescue diver and Thai Navy SEAL died in December 2019 from a blood infection contracted during the mission.
Ron Howard is known for his powerful movies as a director. While the world watched this rescue unfold with keen interest, even non-divers, I suspect the world will watch again when this movie is released!