Still Stuck

September 29, 2010 at 2:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Yup, they’re still down there.  33 men have been trapped over 2,000 feet underground for 55 nights, which I can only assume are the longest 55 nights they’ve ever experienced.  The good news is that there has been remarkable headway in the drilling to reach them and they could be out in just a few weeks, which is way ahead of the Christmas time frame they were previously working with.  As of now, they’re all relatively healthy and as sane as they can be in the circumstances.  The bad news is they’re still all trapped deep within a mine.

Many a vigil is being held for these guys at Camp Hope, the camp right outside the mine that family and friends are occupying until the men get out

Try and think about every single thing you’ve done, every place you’ve been, all of the hours between work, school and home – all of the life you’ve lived for the last two months.  Now imagine spending all of that time deep, deep underground with only a group of your coworkers to keep you company.  They’re not getting paid for this and will be lucky if they all escape with their health.  It seriously boggles my mind and, while I’m sure there will lucrative TV and book deals in their futures (with perhaps a movie thrown in for good measure), I’m sure this is something they would all rather have done without.

In order to actually get out of the mine, they’re going to have to be individually raised in a very teeny cage.  In the dark.  Alone.  For hours.  This could be the most stressful part of the whole thing and I can’t imagine what it would be like to be the last guy up.  Maybe I’ve read too many Steven King books in my day but I would freak the hell out.  There is no doubt in my mind that I would emerge from the ground needing a fresh change of pants.

It’s remarkable to me how these men have kept some sort of routine going while living in the mine.  I know that they pretty much have to have some consistency and structure to their days and nights or they might very well go insane, but it’s impressive they’ve been sticking to it.  They have lighting set up that mimics day and nighttime, so they are roughly 8 hours of work, 8 of rest and 8 of sleep every day.  They also exercise, monitor their vitals and health statistics and the few smokers in the group take extremely long hikes to have a cigarette.  This is a link to a story on that goes through a day in their life and it’s a pretty interesting read.  And if you had any doubt about how small their rescue capsules are going to be, take note of the men who are being forced to lose weight in order to be able to squeeze in before they can come above ground.

This whole thing makes my slightly claustrophobic self’s skin crawl and I’ve been thinking of these guys frequently since I first heard of their plight.  So the next time you’re enjoying sunshine, fresh air or pretty much any type of freedom at all, think of the men in Chile and send them a bit of strength and luck.  Because if they all do Oprah after they get out, they’re going to need it.

Come home soon!


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