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Filipino teacher part of Thai cave rescue


By Katherine Marajas

Christoffer ‘Cedjie’ John Aquino, an English teacher and a rock climbing instructor, took his part as he was one of those volunteers tasked with finding an alternate escape route for the young football team trapped in a flooded underground cave in Thailand.

(Photo courtesy of Cedjie Aquino)

(Photo courtesy of Cedjie Aquino)

“It was a valley covered with thick vegetation,” Cedjie told the Manila Bulletin in an exclusive interview.

“The authorities wanted us to bushwhack through all that and then collect intel on crevices that they saw on a cliff.”

In a public post, Aquino shared how complicated it was to get the boys out.

“The entire time we were searching for holes in the ground or crawling into tight spaces; everyone was sticking their hands under rocks or holes, not once did anyone think of the potential dangers of being bitten or stung by poisonous creatures,” he wrote.

The 38-year-old Davao native is a member of Camp Geo, a team of geologists and geographers from countries like Russia, United States, Cameroon, and Thailand.

It took his team of seven a little over six days exploring possible ways out of the cave. However, Thai authorities decided to pursue the assisted dive plan to bring the boys out.

The Thai football team were found safe after getting trapped in Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand for nine days.

FILE - This Monday, July 2, 2018, file image released by Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center, shows the missing boys and their soccer coach as they were found in a dark, partially flooded cave, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, Thailand. The group was discovered July 2 after 10 days totally cut off from the outside world, and while they are for the most physically healthy, experts say the ordeal has likely taken a mental toll that could worsen the longer the situation lasts. (Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center via AP, File/MANILA BULLETIN)

(Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center via AP, File/MANILA BULLETIN)

According to Agence France-Presse, a former Thai navy diver helping to rescue a football team trapped inside a flooded cave died as officials warned the window of opportunity to free the youngsters is ‘limited’. (with a report from Dom Galeon)

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