LA diver knows the risks faced by Thai cave rescuers

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A Los Angeles expert diver can explain some of the many risks faced by rescue crews as they try to save a group of boys stuck in a flooded Thailand cave. (KABC)

As rescue crews struggle to rescue the remaining eight boys still stuck in a cave in Thailand, one local diver can explain exactly how hazardous a mission they face.

Karim Hamza knows the constant and potentially catastrophic challenges of cave diving. A video he shot on a recent trip to Mexico shows the dangerous near white-out conditions divers can face underwater as they try to rescue more children from the flooded cave.

Hamza is a dive master at Hollywood Divers and he says the biggest challenge is overcoming panic.

"When they go into panic mode there's nothing anyone can do," he said. "They will drown right there and then. That's the greatest risk - to the kids and also to the rescuers."

Most of the children don't know how to swim, much less scuba dive.

The plan is to have each child wear a full face mask, so they can breathe and remain calm for the three-hour trip through the tight maze cutting through the middle of the mountain.

Besides panic, the children also face the risk of hypothermia during the long swim. There are also physical obstacles like razor-sharp rocks jutting out into their path.

He says no one has ever tried a cave rescue of this magnitude.

Four lives have already been saved, but more are still on the line.
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