BANGKOK: Three divers who helped rescue a Thai soccer group final yr have made a contemporary discovery in Vietnam the place they explored a tunnel that might increase the footprint of the world’s largest cave.
The group was invited to descend right into a waterlogged pit within the Son Doong collapse central Vietnam that has by no means been explored and is believed to connect with close by chambers.
They have been compelled again at 77 meters (252 toes) as a result of they didn’t have sufficient oxygen to push additional, however they suppose the tunnels might be 120 meters deep.
If the tunnel connects to a different cave, it might make Son Doong “simply the most important cave on this planet and it might by no means be overtaken,” British cave skilled Howard Limbert, who helped organise the dive, stated Tuesday at a press convention saying the discover.
The three divers — Rick Stanton, Jason Mallinson and Chris Jewell — have been a part of the daring rescue to save lots of 12 Thai footballers and their coach who have been trapped in a cave for eighteen days final yr.
Stanton — who discovered the boys on a ledge — stated the painstaking process of safely main the group out of the tunnel alive helped to arrange for the mission in Vietnam.
“Our planning and preparation is with out parallel,” he stated.
The group plans to return to Vietnam subsequent yr to attempt to hyperlink the tunnel to a different cave close to Son Doong, which is so large that it has its personal ecosystem and climate patterns.
The collapse central Quang Binh province was first discovered by an area forager in 1991, however was not re-discovered for an additional 19 years as a result of its entrance was hidden by thick surrounding jungle.
Solely 30 p.c of Vietnam’s Phong Nha nationwide park — the place Son Doong and a community of adjoining caves are situated — has up to now been explored.
Son Doong is the world’s largest cave by quantity, sufficiently big to deal with a NY city block — together with 40-storey skyscrapers — in accordance with Oxalis, which runs excursions into the caves.
Proposed plans to construct a cable automobile within the space have sparked anger among the many Vietnamese public who worry it’ll hurt the world’s wildlife and pristine views.
An official stated Tuesday there have been no plans to maneuver forward with the mission regardless of presents from a number of corporations.
“That’s solely in principle, in reality, to construct a cable automobile there isn’t any such mission but,” the vice chairman of Quang Binh province Tran Thien Dung stated Tuesday.
Vietnam’s tourism trade is booming amongst home and overseas travellers alike, however the communist nation has come underneath fireplace for failing to protect landscapes because it quickly expands the sector.