Divers rescue monk trapped in Thai cave


Divers rescue monk trapped in Thai cave

Cave rescue
Picture: Prasat Bun Sathan Foundation.

In an operation with echoes of the rescue of a youth football team from the Tham Luang caves in 2018, divers have succeeded in extracting a Buddhist monk who had spent four days in flooded caves in northern Thailand.

Phra Ajarn Manat, 46, is thought to have entered the Tham Phra Sai Ngam caves in Thung Salaeng National Park on Saturday, 3 April, planning to spend the weekend meditating.

Like the young footballers, however, he became trapped by floodwater. A sudden and unseasonal storm followed by continued rainfall cut off his exit route, forcing him to retreat deeper and higher inside the extensive system.

Manat had visited the caves before, and it was local residents aware of his annual April pilgrimage to the caves who feared that he had become trapped and raised the alarm. There was concern that he had no food with him.

Volunteers from the Prasat Bun Sathan rescue service along with police and park officials launched a rescue operation but were hampered by the adverse weather conditions and rising water levels.

After the rain had stopped, Manat was located in a chamber some 400m from the entrance, just beyond a flooded sump about 12m long and 4m deep.

8 April 2021

This time it was not necessary to call in international rescuers. Divers from a team of 17 from the Puen Pung Yamyak Foundation of the Thai Red Cross Society, which was also involved in the 2018 operation, dived through the sump into the chamber.

They kitted Manat out with scuba equipment and assisted him back out through the sump at 11.30 yesterday morning (7 April). He was said to be slightly feverish and exhausted but otherwise uninjured, and was taken to hospital for routine checks.



Get a weekly roundup of all Divernet news and articles 🤿

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Divernet Posts

Diver Magazine Relaunch

Diver magazine needs YOU!

Are you still lamenting the demise of Diver magazine? Well now you can help resurrect an icon as we seek to bring back the magazine

manta ray and diver over reef in Komodo

Divers pitch into Komodo manta probe

Manta rays choose to stick around Indonesia’s Komodo National Park in unusually large numbers – and, according to a new diver-led study, this community could

female diver holding pair of Fourth Element Tech fins

Tech fins inspired by humpback whales

Whales provided the inspiration for optimising efficiency in Fourth Element’s latest fins, according to the Cornwall-based manufacturer. The “turbulence disruptors” on top of the blades

Last Breath portrait of Woody Harrelson

Woody dives into Last Breath remake

A new version of the British documentary-thriller that captured the imaginations of divers in 2019 is about to be previewed at the Cannes Film Festival.

Viagra tablet

Viagra and diving: Risk reduction

Awareness is everything in diving, and BOB COLE has advice for divers who, for whatever reason, take PDE5 inhibitors I recently met an old friend

Reefs of Raja Ampat

Reefs of Raja Ampat

Local Guide to Raja Ampat Reefs, #4 Neu Reef While Raja Ampat is home to an incredible number of dive sites, one area, in particular,

Follow Divernet on Social Media