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Anniversary: How Xylem’s pumps played crucial role in the rescue of 12 Thai boys from cave

The mountainous Thai region of Chiang Rai
The mountainous Thai region of Chiang Rai
The successful rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand made headline news around the world two years ago.
But it was the role played by Xylem and its dewatering expertise in challenging environments that helped secure their freedom.
Four of Xylem’s experts were on site and recommended a reconfiguration of the pumps that increased the flow by 40%, which drained the cave’s chambers more quickly.
On June 23, the soccer team and their coach were exploring the cave when they got lost. On July 2, more than a week after they disappeared, divers found the soccer team nearly three miles into the cave.
Patrick Decker, president and CEO of Xylem, said: “As I began to watch the news stories and I saw the water being pumped out, I thought there has got to be some way that we as Xylem, a global leader in water technology, could help.
“It wasn’t about bringing more pumps to the site, it was about going in and looking at how we might be able to use our expertise to increase the flow of the pumps they already had.
“We made recommendations that increased the flow by about 40%. That was enough to actually drain the first three chambers, and lower the fourth chamber, which hopefully provided some way for them to begin the extraction efforts on Sunday.”
On July 9, Xylem airlifted back-up pumps and equipment, in case a back-up plan would be needed and the following day all 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued.
The mountainous Thai region of Chiang Rai