Do you remember the story from a few years ago about a soccer team that consisted of twelve boys and their coach, went to explore a secluded cave in Thailand, only to get stuck inside the cave after flood waters trapped them inside?
That story was amazing. Every day I checked all the news channels to see if there was any update on those children, and their coach, stuck inside the cave in hopes of hearing about their rescue.
Thankfully they were all eventually rescued, thanks to the heroics of several cave divers and other professionals. The way they got them out of the cave sounded scary! It’s a blessing they all got out alive.
The situation is going to be made into a feature film, directed by Ron Howard. I am super excited to see this film when it comes out. It will be called Thirteen Lives (at least that is the title as of this moment in time).
If you are interested in learning more about the film, you can read this interesting article about it on the Varity website – Ron Howard’s Thai Caves Rescue Film ‘Thirteen Lives’ to Shoot in Australia.
There is also a book that is available now called Thirteen Lessons That Saved Thirteen Lives: The Thai Cave Rescue. It’s written by John Volanthen.
Here is some interesting information about the author;
JOHN VOLANTHEN began caving with the scouts at the age of 14 and is now a world record–holding British cave diver who has been at the forefront of underground rescue and exploration for over twenty years. Best known as the first diver to locate and contact the missing youth Thai soccer team with his diving partner Rick Stanton, he also planned and participated in the children’s rescue, carrying three children to safety. John has been involved in search, rescue and recovery operations as well as mapping caves worldwide. His many awards include the British and Commonwealth George Medal, the Scout Association Bronze Cross, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and Scientific Exploration Society Pioneer with Purpose.
With a background in medical electronics, John has invented underwater mapping devices, communications systems and state of the art, micro rebreathers, allowing divers to stay underwater longer than was previously possible. In Wookey Hole in the UK, alongside Rick Stanton, John advanced the British cave diving depth record to over 90M. As part of an international team, he set a world record for the longest cave dive from surface, well over 10km. John lives in Bristol and continues to explore and document underwater caves throughout the world. He is always on standby for the next rescue.
In John’s book, he recounts the events that went into rescuing the thirteen lives that were trapped in that dangerous, flooded, cave. In fact, the beginning of the book (behind the cover and the first page) is a map of the tunnel that shows you where the flooded areas were, parts where the rescuers had to wade through water, and areas that were dry and not flooded.
I’d like to point out that this book is an easy read. I was expecting the book to have a small text and be jam-packed with words on each page. That is not the case at all (thankfully). Small text books bother my eyes and I find them hard to read, even with my trifocal glasses (you’ve got to love getting older. Sigh…).
Each chapter begins with a life lesson that the author wants to impart upon the reader. Lessons such as One Breath at a Time, Hurry Up and Do… Nothing, Make Success a Habit and Define Your Own Happiness, to name a few (there are thirteen in all).
You might think by reading the chapter titles that this is more of a self-help book than a book about the thirteen people trapped in the cave and their heroic rescue. In a way, this book is part self-help and part about the story of the rescue of the people trapped in the cave.
The start of each chapter is a single page about a paragraph in length that discusses the “life lesson.” The following pages talk about the rescue, and how that particular life lesson was applied to the situation at that time. Hopefully that makes sense?
At the end of the book the life lessons are discussed again, with tips on how to apply them to your own life.
I guess you can say this is two books in one.
As for the life lessons, many of them most people are already aware of, but might not apply to their own lives. I’m one of those people. It’s nice to hear them again, in hopes that some day I’ll apply them to my own life (some I already do, others I should but I don’t). The life lessons discussed are pretty straight forward and nothing drastic.
When it comes to the part of each chapter about the rescue, that is what held my interest the most. I was really curious about the “behind the scenes” aspect of the daring rescue. It truly is an amazing story.
Overall I enjoyed this book. I still would have read it without the life lesson parts. In my eyes, they were more of a “bonus” than the actual story. That is fine with me.
There are parts of the book that doesn’t have anything to do with the rescue in the cave. I would have preferred if the author stay on the cave rescue and not other life experiences. I guess in a way it helps to give you some background on him, but I honestly would have preferred the story be strictly about the cave rescue.
The book is available for purchase now. I see it on Amazon, but I don’t find it on Barnes and Nobles for some odd reason.
*I received a copy of the book to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.