Twelve Thai Soccer Players
On June 23, twelve Thailand soccer players and their coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, went missing. The name of the soccer team was Wild Boars. The soccer team was from the northern part of Thailand. The soccer team got trapped in a cave that was half a mile below the surface and was prone to flooding. The twelve Thai soccer players were roughly around the ages of 14 and 16, with their coach being 25 years old. The situation in June 2018 of the twelve Thai soccer players getting trapped in a cave could have been prevented by the coach being more responsible, the government boarding off the cave, and the team being more prepared.
As the coach of the twelve Thailand soccer players Chanthawong was completely responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the team. Due to the lack of Chanthawong’s responsibility, the boy’s lives were put in danger and almost died. Although the boys asked Chanthawong to lead them deep into the cave, he should have been more responsible and said no. Chanthawong knew that most of the boys could not swim, and that it was monsoon season. The cave was prone to high flash flooding and Chanthawong knew but still took the risk and took the boys into the cave because he thought it would be a fun new experience.
As the team went on deep into the cave Chanthawong noticed a little bit of water, but not enough to cause alarm. As soon as Chanthawong noticed the water rising he should have taken the boys out of the cave. Monsoon season, which occurs from “the middle of May to the middle of October,” also had an impact on the water rising (Tourism Authority). Monsoon season is when the climate changes from dry and hot temperature to frequent rainy days and cooler temperature (Tourism Authority). During monsoon season, Thailand is at risk of flash flooding, powerful winds and 10 to 20% rainfall (“The Seasonal Forecast of Thailand” par.2). Chanthawong should have thought about the seasons and decide when was best in taking the boys. A smart choice that Chanthawong could have made was taking the boys during the dry season, which is between November and early April. (“The Seasonal Forecast of Thailand” par.6).
According to Amjad Murabit of the University of Saskatchewan, one of the key attributes of an excellent leader is ownership. Chanthawong showed ownership when he apologized to the boy’s families and to the boys themselves: he also accepts full responsibility for the situation that occurred, “My biggest mistake was taking the boys into the cave knowing the risk” (Ekapol Chanthawong). Strong leaders look to set things right and make amends to those who have been impacted. When Chanthawong sent the note that had his apology to the parents, his words seem sincere and he reassured the parents he would take good care of the children. ABC News published the note wrote by Chanthawong, which said “I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible, I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologize to the parents”.
Additionally, being a responsible leader means taking control of the situation. Chanthawong took control of the situation by, trying to find a way out of, keeping the boys calm the cave, and rationing the supplies that was given to them by the rescue team. Once Chanthawong noticed that the way they came in was blocked by rushing water, he told the boys that he would have to dive in order to find a way out. Chanthawong wrapped a rope around his waist and told the boys that if he pulled twice on the rope that means there is an exit. Chanthawong has extensive training in Buddhism and in meditation practice which allowed him to teach the boys how to stay clam during the terrifying situation. A monk from the monastery where Chanthawong worked as a custodian tells New York Times, “in the cave, he taught the boys how to meditate so they could pass time without stress, that helped save their lives”. Chanthawong tells ABC News that he would rather die than lose a single Wild Boar he even withheld food and water from himself.
Coach Chanthawong showed the act of responsibility by owning up to his mistakes, making the boys safety his first priority, and being open minded of how they would survive. Being a leader takes a lot of action and responsibility. There are many ways a person can be responsible such as, taking the current situation they are in and making it their very first priority. People tend to take in much more than they can handle which leads them to being extremely stressed and distracted, which does not allow the human mind to focus on the main situation it is in. People also tend to blame others for their mistakes rather than owning up to them, once the person accepts that they are not perfect then they will have no trouble in being a responsible and mature adult. Also, a responsible adult sees not only their own point of view but also their peers.
It is also important to realize that the government has the responsibility of taking care of their citizens and being more aware of the situations that occur around them. The situation of the 12 boys and their coach getting trapped in the cave has happened before. Due to the lack of technology in Thailand there are no previous records of how the government solved the situation that occurred before the soccer team. The only information known of the first incident is that when the people got trapped in the cave Thailand had pleasant weather, so the rescuing of the Thais went smoothly.
After the first incident occurred the government did not bother to seal off the cave in order to prevent curious Thais from going in. The only action the government took in order to protect their citizens form the cave was adding an inadequate size sign. The government’s responsibility is to try to prevent similar situation from occurring and to prepare a plan for possible similar situation that may occur. Once the first incident happened the government should of put motoring tools around the cave in order to keep track on the daily activities that occur around the cave. The situation of the boys getting trapped could have been solved faster is the government had records of the similar situation that occurred in the past.
When the government tries to achieve historical data, it is very difficult for them to find. Most of the past rescue plans and operations stay within an individual’s mind. Usually the government does little or no work at all in order to obtain the information that known by an individual. Without the information about the past incidents it is very difficult to design a computer application that can make new plans for similar incidents. The computer application is useful when an emergency occurs because people tend to panic rather than using the time to make a plan.
The lack of advance technology also made the Thailand government rely on other countries for help. The rescue mission expanded to include hundreds of Thai Navy SEALS, soldiers, police, government officials and volunteers from around the world. More than one thousand people from eighteen countries worked together to help out with the rescue mission. Help was either sent or offered by countries such as Australia, Brittan, China, Japan, and the United States, among other, as the world waited and hoped for the best. Volunteers helped pump water out of the cave entrance. Ninety members of a special force unit volunteered and many equipment such as, four helicopters, and excavators were dedicated specifically for the rescue mission. (Agencies)
Thailand’s energy ministry said they would supply drills if the rescue mission focused on creating cavities in the side of the cave in order to locate the soccer team.
The Thai government has paid for majority of the rescue’s operation, but some significant contributions were made by other countries who sent their divers and volunteers to aid, while being funded by their own governments, as a form of goodwill.
Due to the lack of knowledge about the cave the team’s curiosity got the best of them and led them to being unprepared.