Cooperation breeds success

Published 1:12 pm Saturday, July 14, 2018

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Although Chiang Rai in northern Thailand is practically half a world away from us, the story there that’s held the world’s attention for the past couple of weeks is one which should resonate with us here in Western Tidewater.

On Tuesday, the news came that the last four boys and their leader were safely extracted from a cave where they and eight other youths, all belonging to a soccer club, had been trapped since June 23. Reportedly, they had gone in to explore after practice that day. A seasonal monsoon came in the meantime and flooded the area where they could have otherwise exited.

Days later, “The Wild Boars,” as they were known, were all found together on July 2 by a diver from England, according to a news report. Many people and agencies, including the military, got to work in planning a rescue. The major obstacle to a swift and safe recovery was the large amount of water in the cave, which required scuba diving gear to enable everyone to breathe until resurfacing outside. More rainstorms were expected, so time was also against everyone.

During this ordeal, a Thai Navy SEAL diver became unconscious and died while working a supply mission. This tragedy further underscored the necessity for safety and careful planning.

Nevertheless, that cooperation — which attracted aid from people in different parts of the globe — paid off as the first four boys were taken out on Sunday, and then next four on Monday. Now, all team members are getting medical treatment in a hospital, and each must face a new challenge of healing psychologically. Again, there will be professional people to help them.

Like all who have been watching the news about the ordeal, we share in the jubilation of everyone’s successful rescue. That was made possible by everyone working together and, we like to think, no small amount of prayer.

What happened to the club is something akin to what could occur to any one of us. Imagine a group of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts or a church group that gets caught by a sudden storm, forest fire or flooding. How would they be helped?

Cooperation … and that can lead to success.