The Thai boys could soon be saved – but their problems will continue, as survivors of previous rescues explain

Retired army major Jonathan Sims knows exactly how it feels to be trapped in a damp, dark cave, blocked in by an impenetrable barrier of water that is rising with each passing hour. He spent 10 days trapped in a flooded Mexican cave in 2004, before being rescued by Rick Stanton, the British cave diver who found the boys in Thailand last Monday.

“I remember feeling overjoyed when Rick surfaced and I saw his face. It was a great relief,” said Sims. For the past fortnight, ever since he heard that the young football team and their coach had gone missing in a cave, Sims has been reliving the nightmare of his experience. “My heart is with those children. I have been thinking about them a lot.”

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