Rescuers working to save a Thailand youth soccer team of 12 boys and their coach trapped inside a flooded cave have reportedly used an Israeli technology to locate them. The Israeli rescuers were among the first to join this frantic mission and used state-of-the-art search and rescue technology to aid their mission, nocamels.com reported.
Israeli company Maxtech Networks CEO Uzi Hanuni told the Times of Israel that their system provides voice, data and video link to the boys who were located earlier this week. Hanuni adds that around 19 devices with a battery backup of about 10 hours’ use at a time were used to complete a link to the boys in the cave.
In this system, emergency radios including their patented Max-Mesh mobile professional radio was used to aid the rescuers. This technology enables mission-critical communication of professional mobile radios through virtual infrastructure even in the absence of physical infrastructure.
The Max-Mesh professional radio can easily be mistaken for a walkie-talkie and uses a software algorithm developed by Maxtech over the past 12 years. This technology provides safe communication in voice and video without any line of sight. Though the range is not endless, it would work efficiently for at least a few kilometres deep.
An Israeli who runs a rescue team in Thailand and also actively helped in the early efforts to find the boys contacted Hanuni. He was so moved that he decided to help them and send the devices to the search parties as soon as possible. Yuval Zalmanov, a senior software engineer at Maxtech, flew out to Thailand on June 25 with all the equipment in his suitcase.
After a 12-hour flight, Zalmanov joined the search mission. Not only he provided technical support but he also gave radios and computers to the rescue teams on the ground. Hanuni told Nocamels.com that his team was the only successful team in bringing working technology to the rescue efforts as the 10-km area surrounding the cave is not conducive to communication.
This technology has already been used by India, Israel and Italy in aerospace, defence and security spheres, Nocamels.com quoted Hanuni as saying.
Following their success in Thailand, Hanuni wants to set up a quick response team using their technology which would be ready to travel in a suitcase to emergencies all over the world, the Times of Israel reported.
The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach entered Tham Luang Nang Non-cave in Chiang Rai province on June 23. Heavy rains that flooded key passages are believed to have trapped the soccer players and have thwarted the search for them. One of the boys’ mother reported them missing after her son didn’t return home after practice. Their bicycles and soccer boots were subsequently found at the mouth of the caves, prompting authorities to launch a massive rescue operation.
On July 2, the Thai Navy SEALS and two British cave diving experts found the alive, deep inside a partially flooded part of the cave. They were found on an elevated rock about four kilometres from the mouth of the cave.
Authorities are pumping out water as fast as possible to reach the children while simultaneously conducting diving lessons — wearing masks and breathing, not actual dives — for the group, reported The Associated Press. As the monsoon in Thailand extends till October, there are fears that the boys will remain stuck for months.