Haskel and their distributor, American Airworks, were recently informed by a small business owner in Thailand that a product they had supplied to the company was a vital component on the successful cave rescue of a young soccer team and their coach.

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 kilometres 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 Engineering, a small business in Thailand, who freely supplied the rescue team with diving gear and oxygen (O2) cylinders. That act of generosity turned out to be significant to the diving mission.

The equipment supplied by Easytek included the only gas booster that didn’t fail in service during the rescue mission. This one O2 booster operated full-time to support the necessary dive operations, sustaining the continual refilling of O2 cylinders used by the rescuers who were wearing rebreathers – approximately 600 cylinders were used throughout the operation.

That specific O2 gas booster was a decades-old, second-hand Haskel product. The booster had been rebuilt in 2017 and supplied to Easytek Engineering by our distributor American Airworks, an expert in high-pressure breathing air and O2 products and scuba diving applications.

In a recent blog post, Haskel declared that the company was humbled by its contribution to such a critical mission and that its dedication to high quality and reliable engineering was reaffirmed.

The post states, “we know the importance of giving our users confidence and peace of mind that their equipment won’t fail them as they jump into action to help others.”

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 spill. The 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 its customers, the company suspended standard BuTech production to create capacity. Haskel’s General Manager personally flew to a supplier to pick up components necessary to manufacture the valves.

The post continued, “At Haskel, quality and reliability are at the heart of our product development. We’re proud to support incredible teams that put themselves at risk to help others with these foundational values.”

High-pressure gas boosters and pumps are often known for their role in aerospace, fluid power, oil and gas, and more recently, hydrogen (H2) applications. However, high-pressure products also play an important and often overlooked role in 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.