Book Review: Thirteen Lessons that Saved Thirteen Lives

Do you remember hearing about the Thai boys soccer team that were trapped in a cave in 2018? Cave Diver, John Volanthen, was one of the key people that rescued the 12 boys and their coach after they were trapped. The boys had been exploring/hiking and ended up far in the caves without realizing that the weather had taken a turn for a worse, torrential rains began flooding the underground caves and monsoon season was starting. In Thirteen Lessons that Saved Thirteen Lives, John writes about his experience during the rescue.

Divers, military, other rescue personnel from around the world began arriving in Thailand to try to help. But days went by and the boys were feared to be dead. It was looking to be more of a recovery mission rather than a rescue mission. John Volanthen and his diving partner, Rick Stanton, top cave divers who had embarked on multiple rescue and recovery missions in the past volunteered their services. Reluctant to accept their help, the Thai government soon realized that they needed John and Rick’s expertise and ability to organize a rescue with the help of other divers and military.

John writes about the days leading up to finding the boys in the caves, alive (!), and the extensive planning to figure out how to get the boys out of the caves. The boys were weak and malnourished having not eaten in a week when they were found and most of them could not swim let alone swim with gear and breathing apparatus for two hours out of the caves. What helped John save the boys are thirteen lessons he has followed over the years through experience and all the lessons can be applied to regular life, not just to diving. I thought all the lessons were really worth listening to and taking in to apply to anyone’s life. Lessons like “Hurry Up and Do…Nothing” where he talks about not rushing in to a crisis situation trying to do all the things because that’s when mistakes and sometimes irreversible mistakes can be made. Sometimes it pays to just do nothing and think things through, wait. Or “Rehearse. Then Repeat” where John talks about the benefits of rehearsal and practice in order to work out any kinks or address any issues that may arise that maybe you hadn’t thought of before.

I really enjoyed this book and learning about what went into the rescue. I am not a diver nor do I ever care to cave dive, but I was still totally drawn into John’s story and his experience!

*This book was sent to me complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.*

Welcome to my blog! I'm a teacher during the day and lifestyle blogger by night. I love pop culture, entertainment/TV/movies/music, food, beauty, travel & fashion!


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