Three Years After the Thai Cave Rescue Operation: A Reminder of Why Quality and Reliability are the Backbone of High-Pressure Equipment

It has been over three years since the dramatic rescue of the young soccer players from the cave in Thailand. As time has passed, more information has come out about the situation and the rescue; including how low the odds were that all of them could be rescued. National Geographic recently released a film about the story that includes never-before-seen footage from cameras that the Thai Navy Seals used. The Thai government shared 87 hours of footage with the documentary filmmakers when the film was almost done, so they had to go back to re-do much of it! The Rescue highlights the story of the US and Thai military’s efforts and the daring plan carried out by hobby divers that were ultimately successful.

We are still so proud that our equipment was involved in the rescue and the story underscores the importance of quality and reliability with everything that we do.

Most often high-pressure gas boosters and pumps are known for their role in industrial applications. However, our high-pressure products play an important role in an emergency, rescue, and safety applications, which is important to the engineers at Haskel. Whether deploying emergency aircraft escape shoots or refilling SCBA or SCUBA air cylinders on the fire scene or dive site, Haskel engineers know these mission-critical operations, be it by land, air, or sea, require the best quality and most reliable equipment.

Built to Last: Haskel Boosters Stand the Test of Time

The world's attention recently focused on Thailand where a soccer team and their coach were trapped in a flooded cave. As officials planned out the rescue operation, the level of difficulty surrounding this task was clear to everyone watching. The rescue required divers, including Navy SEALS and members of the Royal Thai Navy, to dive 1.7 kilometers through dark, narrow, rocky passages to reach the stranded team.

The historic rescue mission was an incredible success with all 13 trapped individuals being brought out from the cave safely and in good health. More than 1,000 people took part in the operation in some way, including members of the Thai army and many volunteers. One individual who contributed to the mission was the owner of Easytek, a small business in Thailand, who freely supplied the rescue team with diving gear and oxygen cylinders. That act of generosity turned out to be significant to the success of the diving mission.

The equipment supplied by Easytek included a Haskel gas booster. The booster replaced others that came before it but failed, unable to hold up to the demands placed upon them by the continuous rescue operation The Haskel booster was the only gas booster that didn't fail and worked through to the end of the rescue mission operated alone and full-time to support continual refilling of oxygen cylinders used by the rescuers who were wearing rebreathers – approximately 600 cylinders were used throughout the operation.

That heroic oxygen gas booster was a decades-old, second-hand refurbished unit. The booster had been rebuilt in 2017 and supplied to Easytek by our distributor American Airworks - experts in breathing air systems and oxygen products.

Contributing to such a critical mission brings a great sense of pride and reminds us that our products deliver more than safety, reliability, and performance - they help protect people and the environment and make our world a safer place. From enabling search and rescue operations through GPS satellites we help launch, and delivering breathing air for life support and rescue operations, to providing hydraulic or pneumatic power that actuates emergency equipment, and enables companies to pressure test the safety and integrity of their products and components, we know the importance of giving our users confidence and peace of mind that their equipment won't fail when it matters most.

In 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred, Haskel's line of BuTech subsea valves were used in the operation that successfully sealed the cap and ended the world’s largest oil spill. Our team, wanting to help in any way possible, went to countless measures to produce the valves that were needed to help ensure the crisis was ended as soon as possible. With the agreement of our customers, we suspended standard production to create capacity for the valves, and Haskel's General Manager personally flew to a supplier to pick up components necessary to manufacture them.

At Haskel, we're proud to support incredible teams that put themselves at risk to help others.

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