Wilmington dive instructor discusses Thailand rescue

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —  Officials in Thailand now say they have a “limited amount of time” to get 12 stranded boys and their soccer coach out of a flooded cave. And now a local dive instructor, with ties to Thailand, gives his perspective on the dangerous situation.

Ron Meyers moved from Wilmington to Thailand almost two years ago to pursue his love of scuba diving and become an instructor. Now he’s back in our area, and sharing his thoughts on the rescue effort to save those boys.

“They have a very difficult situation ahead of them,” said Meyers.

Ron Meyers knows all too well the dangers involved in diving.

“I’ve been diving for about 20 years. I started diving in the military. Afterwards I dove public safety through the fire department in Asheville,” he said.

Meyers visited Thailand just days ago, and stays in contact with friends that still live there.

“I personally have a connection to the incident. A lot of my friends and former coworkers are over there doing all they can to help.”

Meyers says he’s been in contact with some divers who are part of the rescue effort to save everyone trapped in that Thailand cave.

“They’re still trying to figure out how they want to bring these young children up,” he said.

One of the options being discussed is teaching the children how to dive, and helping them swim to safety. Meyers says this is not as easy as it sounds.

“To take an open water class is about four to five days of constant instructor-student contact. To be able to do that from the hip in a hazard situation with a very tired, thirsty, hungry child…”

Meyers says cave diving, where some openings are less than 30 inches wide, is even more difficult.

“It requires a little more patience and calmness, you have to rely more on your equipment and memory, because you lose a lot of dexterity, you lose a lot of visual,” he said.

Meyers says he’ll continue to keep up with those working on the effort, and wishes them the best.

“I pray for them, and I hope they can find a solution quickly.”

Categories: Local, New Hanover