Review: Aquanaut by Rick Stanton

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Aquanaut, by Rick Stanton, tells the incredible true story of how an amateur, although hugely experienced, cave diver was called to assist and ultimately rescue twelve Thai soccer boys and their coach who had disappeared in the Tham Luang Cave in Thailand in 2018.

Their plight made international news, and their unbelievable rescue by an older retired firefighter, Stanton himself, is the stuff of legend. There is a new Netflix movie on the event as well as a Ron Howard motion picture “Thirteen Lives”, due out later this year.

The book outlines in detail the weeks these young boys spent alone, in the dark, in a flooded cave system and survived, but also how the elite Thai Navy Seals and the Thai government were forced to ask for help from the outside world to get them out safely. The fact that all did, spoiler alert, is a testament not only to the Thai people, Stanton and all involved, but also to these children and their coach who maintained amazing spirt and survival instincts while alone and cut off for weeks in a suddenly flooded cave system.

Stanton also tells us all we could ever need to know about cave diving, and how his entire life prepared him, as much or more than anyone in the world, for this specific mission while in his 60’s. Destiny indeed.

An amazing story, with details that are fascinating for those of us who will never explore cave systems, let alone flooded cave systems, in total darkness and often with extremely high risk ourselves. A great tale by the man who helped achieve a remarkable outcome that few could have predicted.

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