Update, July 10, 6:30 a.m. The last of the players and the coach were successfully removed from the cave to complete the rescue mission.
The case of a young Thai soccer team trapped in a cave by rising waters has captured the world's attention since they were discovered on July 2, 12 days after they disappeared while on a nature hike.
In the last few days, rescuers have managed to free eight of the boys, although not without the loss of a former Thai Navy SEAL, who drowned while laying out oxygen tanks over the lengthy escape route.
Among those who has been following the story is Scott Campbell, Past President of the Badlands Search and Rescue group of of Rockyford.
"When there is a cave rescue it's just a huge undertaking," he told Drum FM. "You've got to find the person, you can't just run cell phones and walkie talkies, then you throw in water and it just becomes a very complicated situation."
Badlands does not do cave rescues; there is a special rescue group that does it for both Alberta and BC, but Campbell said his group would act in a support role.
"It takes a lot longer to get them out than it took to get them in, especially if they have injuries or illness where they're just not able to move on their own," he cautioned. "Just the sheer logistics of it, not to mention the technical aspect to getting someone out of a cave system."
While the ordeal has obviously been hard on the soccer players and their coach, not to mention their families, Campbell noted it's often also very stressful for the rescuers.
"Sometimes people get upset and cry during rescues; it's just emotionally stressful on anybody, even the most cool person," he admitted. "It's okay, I've got to take two minutes, get it out and then get back on task."
Campbell says rescuers in Alberta have access to debriefing experts after the fact and he hopes it's the same for the people involved in the Thai cave rescue.