Heartland scuba instructor applauds rescues in Thailand

Heartland scuba instructor applauds rescues in Thailand

MASSAC COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - One Heartland scuba diver instructor understands the dangerous circumstances with the soccer team trapped in the Thailand cave.

Mermet Springs owner Glen Faith said the challenges that divers face over there rescuing the trapped team is a scary situation.

"Being a scuba instructor and running a dive facility and really know what's going on behind the scenes of what it takes to become a certified and confident diver," Faith explained. "To take these kids who have no formal training and ask them to go into what's a technical or advanced type of diving is just a scary proposition."

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Faith trains hundreds year-round at his Mermet Springs facility for recreational scuba divers. He also worked for the Illinois Secretary of State Police Dive Team and understands the dangers dive teams are facing in the Thailand cave.

"You have issues of air supply, depth, clarity of the water in which my understanding, there's not much of it at all," Faith said. "So it's almost a blind situation through an overhead environment. You've basically stacked everything you can against them and made it almost impossible but they still have to get it done to save those kids."

He stated a normal person has an adequate amount of training before going into the water on their own.

Faith details their scuba diving training classes with home studying and preparation first, then classroom training, pool work, and a full weekend of open water training dives.

"The whole program is approximately 40 hours to get ready to be a new beginning open water diver," Faith stated. "These guys have to go into what is an advanced or technical type of dive in an overhead environment with no formal training. Pretty amazing."

In addition to that, these children have been stuck in the cave for over two weeks and are likely weak after being in survival mode for so long. Faith said it makes him feel proud for those that dove in and saved the first four, given the stacked conditions against those trapped and those that are rescuing them.

"I'm so proud of the people who are doing that. I'm not even sure who ended up doing the dives but that's a testament to their abilities and how we all work together to make things happen and to take care of each other," Faith said. "They had to come up with a good plan, work together as a team to keep those kids safe and get them out. It's pretty amazing."

With the first four children rescued, Faith and the rest of the world can only wait, hold their breath, and hope for the rest to be rescued soon.

"I keep watching my updates on my phone to see how many kids are getting out and how it's going," Faith said. "We are all certainly keeping all the rescuers and kids in our prayers."

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