ON TOP OF THE WORLD !
with his wife after being brought to the
surface from the San Jose mine
There were so many heroic acts associated with the rescue it is difficult to single out one, but certainly the rescue worker who made the initial descent stands out for me as the man of the hour whose bravery and composure were just extraordinary. On another level the co-operation of nations shows what can be achieved through unity of purpose, apparently American engineers were pivotal in the drilling operation and the specialised drill was manufactured here at Smithfield Industrial Estate at Shannon, just a fifteen minute drive from my home. The world media gathered to cover the rescues and ensured when the first man, Florencio Avalos (31) emerged unscathed there was global celebration.
Luis Ursula (front right) the foreman of the
mine and leader of the trapped men
was the last to be rescued.
Many people around the world have been praying for this happy outcome, a point acknowledged when the Chilean President described the rescue as ‘a miracle’. Chile is still largely a country of religious faith with a large Roman Catholic population and a growing number of Evangelical Christians. As well as food and water miniature Bibles were also fed down the pipeline to the miners and it will be interesting to hear in coming days the details of how they lived together and kept their morale up in such difficult circumstances. Mario Sepulveda, the second miner to be rescued said in an interview, "I have been with God and I've been with the devil," And judging from the disposition of the men as they emerged from the rescue capsule, morale was maintained and spirits were kept high. At a time when we are so accustomed to the daily tirade of doom and gloom it is a wonderful occasion to genuinely rejoice and celebrate this marvellous outcome of human endurance , ingenuity and courage.