Rescue a Thai monk trapped in a cave flooded by divers

Bangkok (AP) — A monk trapped in a flood in a cave in northern Thailand for four days was rescued by a diver, state officials said Wednesday.

The 46-year-old monk Phra Manas entered the Tham Phra Sai Ngam Cave in Phitsanulok Province on Saturday and meditated, said Therayuth Chanithawong, director of disaster prevention and mitigation in the state. Many caves in Thailand have shrines in sacred places.

While the monk was inside, heavy rains from summer thunderstorms caused the water level in the cave to rise significantly, blocking the entrance and causing the monk to stranded on a hill inside, Therayuth said.

The incident and its successful resolution reminded us of the 2018 challenges of members of the “Boar” football team, also trapped in a cave in northern Chiang Rai province for more than two weeks. An international team of Royal Thai Navy SEALs, cave divers and hundreds of helpers managed the highly complex rescue of 12 boys and their coaches.

According to Therayuth, Pramanas pilgrimages from another state each April and meditates in the Tamprasain Gum Cave.

The villagers warned the local government when the monks did not return after it rained.

Hundreds of rescue workers, including divers, healthcare professionals and other professionals, gathered at the scene.

After the rain stopped on Wednesday morning, seven divers entered the cave, wore diving masks, and found a safely guided monk through a 12-meter (39-foot) underwater distance.