Women are not just high-fliers. They can dive deep down too, if need be. The Thang Luang cave rescue of 12 Thai boys and their football coach is a case in point. As the world waited with bated breath for the children to be extracted safely, it knotted its eyes on a daring woman rescuer - US Air Force Captain Jessica Tait of the US Pacific Command (USPC).
The officer was in 'field command' of the USPC contingent during the 'near impossible' rescue mission. “It is a moment of pride and joy,” Jessica said evaluating the successful mission that concluded Tuesday evening.
The officer, who stayed put on the ground through the arduous operation was the face of determination while the mission progressed rapidly though cautiously, bringing out the stranded children and their coach.
Speaking to the media she had said the children would be brought to safety and took the pain to patiently explain the challenges faced by the rescue team that was hard at work for days on end.
Speaking about the children, an emotional Jessica said it was nothing short of a marvel that the they survived in the dark without food and other vital supplies for such a long period.
No one could miss her beaming enthusiasm when she spoke of how the children clung on to life bravely and smiled when the two US divers finally reached through the treacherous cave.
What happened in Thailand?
Twelve children and their 25-year-old coach, all from a Thai football group 'Wild Boars,' had entered the cave on June 23 after their regular practice session. The team had gone into the cave to celebrate the birthday of one of the team members.
The limestone cave, which forbids trekkers from July for a few months due to the unpredictable rain, did not look the death trap it could easily change into. The team which probably overlooked the warning and entered the cave were caught unawareness when the rain lashed down, flooding it in no time.
The children and the coach were soon trapped inside the cave with water percolating down the rocks and filling up the narrow meandering pathways, sometimes closing the pathways with slush, mud and rocks.
The team got pushed more and more inwards as the water rose, by around 4 km, by the time they were found nine days after their disappearance.
After a concerted joint rescue operation that drove experts from around the world, the team was extracted safely from the cave and flown off to a hospital where they are currently recuperating and undergoing tests before reuniting with their families.