An experienced cave diver from Co Clare, who helped rescue the heroic rescue of 12 Thai boys and their football coach, described the conditions and visibility in the cave and said, "It could not get any worse."

Jim Warny, originally from Belgium but living in Ennis, returned from the rescue mission on Friday.

Mr. Warny, who has been in cave diving for 20 years, has revealed about the length of time it took to reach the boys in the cave through flooded sections from five meters to 350 meters in length.

In his first in-depth interview aired Tuesday on Philip Boucher Hayes' Today program on RTE Radio 1, one of his father's father described the complicated rescue mission that hit the world.

After being asked by the British Cave Rescue Council to help the Thai Marine Seal divers, Mr. Warny was on a plane within hours.

Speaking to presenter Philip Boucher Hayes, he said: "It was always in the back of my mind that I would get the call – I happened to see one of the guys out there on Facebook was active and I said: & # 39; ; I am here if you need me & he answered immediately and said: & # 39; how fast can you be & # 39;

"I said two hours, and five minutes later I packed my bags and went out the next morning."

Jim Warner

After arriving at the Tham Luang Caves, Mr. Warny saw first hand how difficult and complex the conditions were.

"The visibility could not get worse, it was not visibility," he said.

"I was not outside my comfort zone, it was more the psychological part of the responsibility for a human life.

"The first part, where most of the military and non-divers were stationed, was about a kilometer, mainly on foot, with wading and a short section that was initially flooded, which they had pumped out.

"You must wade through, just enough to keep your head above the water.

"Then the cave diving begins and it is varied between fully flooded sections – the shortest part was five meters long and the longest was 350 meters long.

"It was a mix of flooded sections and sections where you would float on the surface.

"There was a section where we had to come out of the water completely and put the boys on a stretcher and try to carry them for 200 feet."

With little time to prepare the boys, some of the divers did tests with schoolchildren in a local pool to determine which mask to use.

One of the biggest problems divers and boys faced was managing their stress because "you can not panic under water".

He continued, "So we came to the conclusion that there had to be some sedation.

"They were on the verge of being completely sedated – if anything went wrong, it would have endangered the boys' survival."

Towards the end of the rescue mission, Mr. Warny was asked by a lead diver to help and he helped one of the boys get out of the cave.

"It was a miracle that everything worked, there were difficulties, yes, but it was a great team," he added.

When they arrived shortly before the mission ended, the water began to rise in the cave at incredible speed.

Ten people were still in that part of the cave that had a gap big enough to keep their heads above water.

"That gap was closed quickly," Warny added.

The experienced team has certainly made it.

– Press Association


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