Thailand Military Coup Update - 17 June 2014, 1300hrs.
Thailand’s military government has fully lifted the nationwide curfew it imposed since seizing power at the end of May. The military junta, headed up by General Prayuth Chan-O-Cha, said the curfew was lifted as there is no threat of violence.
The junta have censored some of the TV channels and radio stations from making political broadcasts. However, in a move to "return happiness to the Thai people," the junta has also acquired the TV rights to provide Thailand with free access to all 64 World Cup matches :)
We do not advise against travel to Thailand or Bangkok at this time. Since the military coup, life in Bangkok has been peaceful and many people feel that this is a better situation than before the coup.
All Businesses, tourists sites and public transport are operating as normal.
All our progrmams are running as normal and without any change to routes, transfers or schedules. ( in fact no disruption occured to any programs during the entire post coup period) As Thai residents we continue to monitor the situation closely, and will update the situation regularly.
We finished 2013 on a high with our busiest season ever, only to come back to be greeted by a distinctly rocky start to 2014 here in Thailand.
However we are glad to report that none of our programs to date have been impacted by the ongoing peaceful protests ( confined to the city centre of Bangkok) and as we prefer the outdoors to the urban sprawl, none of our adventure programs visit the city, so we do not expect future programs to be impacted either.
However we hope all sides come together to achieve a speedy and peaceful resolution of their differences.
The next couple of months sees us in the North of Thailand in the Muang Khong Valley, combining adventure with charitable community projects and welcoming both acdemic groups and boy scouts back to the WIld Lodge.
IYA groups are begining their steps towards Silver and Gold awards with us and we have a few surprises coming up in the next few months focusing around our establishment of a local support program in the North.
We are going to attempt to be more in touch in 2014 with a new Wild Planet website and some instagram and youtube action so more can see what we are up to ( + Danny our favourite photo pro will be documenting some of the changes in the North and at the Lodge which we will be sharing on flikr)
More as the next few weeks progress…
Reto finished the construction of our wood fired pizza oven last week and the remodelling of the main kitchen area is complete.
Dish pit gone, hidden in a new room for water filtration and washing dishes behing the main kitche ! Replaced by an open sala surrounded by plants and containing our new pizza oven, lava grill and BBQ.
Now we just need to wait for it to dry, fire it and then figure out how to make pizza :)
Plans are afoot for Pizza making to become a actvity for students to run alongside mealtimes ( but not every night :) )
Graham Wardle bought his EOTC training program to the Wild Lodge for the 4th year in sucession last weekend and this time the course had a more planning bent with Primary and Secondary teachers in depth planning their annual Week on The Wild side.
As always, a sterling weekend put together by Wardle
Archery a firm favourite with the NIST crew on the Sunday mronign session and I think many returned to Bangkok planning visit to the range.
Reto took a team from the local thambon and Forestry into Tham Khi Mai and removed the old dengerous wooden egress ladder and replaced it with a brand new 8m alloy ladder whihc will remain in place.
We will be running some groups though the cave Nov onwards and introducing them to the wonders of the underground world.
Tham KhiMai is the forth longest passge in Thaialnd with a 1.9km run though various caverns and is perfect for an introduction to splelunking.
Our new caving gear is courtesy of Josh Morris of CMRCA/Black Diamond the go to guy for great gear at better prices.
Dates confirmed, itinerary to follow, contact us if you are intereested in joining.
A few steps on from your basic CPR !!
Program Title: Whitewater Rescue Technician
Provider: Graham Wardle, Rescue 3 / The Wild Planet
Duration: 3 Day 2 Night
Date: Program 1: 17 – 19 August 2012
Program 2: 7 – 9 September 2012
Rescue 3 International was founded in 1979 after a California search and rescue team nearly lost one of its own during a water rescue. Nearly 30 years later our mission remains the same: to provide flood, water, and rope rescue training to individuals and organizations with an emphasis on ways to keep rescuers from becoming victims. As a result, Rescue 3 has risen to become the recognized leader in water and flood rescue, training over 90,000 students throughout the US and 32 foreign countries. Known for our dynamic curriculum and utilizing state of the art techniques. Rescue 3 is constantly developing new and innovative rescue techniques, improving on old techniques, and working with manufacturers to develop equipment to meet rescuers needs.
Graham Wardle is an International School teacher, currently working in Bangkok where he lives wife his wife and daughter. For the past 26 years he has paddled, rafted, dived, trekked and climbed in 35 countries. He is a British Canoe Union Level 5 Coach Raft Guide and Rescue 3 Swift Water Rescue Instructor. He holds British Mountaineering Council, rock climbing and mountaineering awards as well as been a keen and avid PADI Scuba Instructor. He has been instrumental in the development of White Water Safety & Rescue techniques in the UK and Europe, along with the development of coach education schemes.
This is a three-day course designed for the Outdoor Professional with existing river experience to provide you with the necessary skills to perform rescues in whitewater river situations. It is both classroom and river-based and will include:
· Hydrology and water dynamics
· Introduction to technical rescue equipment
· Hazard identification & risk assessment
· Introduction to rope systems
· Swimming in moving water
· Medical considerations
· Foot and body entrapments
· Scene management
· Contact and in-water rescues
· Two and Four point boat and rope system
· Crossing techniques
· Boat pins and entrapments
· There will also be several team based scenarios..
The practical element will be delivered on the dates above and will be primarily bank/river based. The skills covered will build on your previous foundation knowledge
There is also some preparation work required prior to the course.
All attendees will be required to be equipped as follows:
· Wet Suit*
· Wet boots/Aqua Shoes or Trainers (NO SANDALS)
· PFD* (preferably with harness)
· Throwbag & River knife
· Outdoor clothes
· Sturdy footwear
NOTE: Wetsuits, helmets, PFD’s and Throw Bags are available (Please notify The Wild Planet if required).
Pre-requisites for Attending the Course
Previous White Water experience either as a Rafter or Canoeist. Confident in swimming in moving water.
Prior to the commencement of the course please practice the following and come prepared to demonstrate:
Figure 8 Follow Through
Figure 8 on a Bight
Directional Figure 8
Double Figure 8 ( Bunny Ears)
Italian Hitch (Munter Knot)
Water Knot (Tape Knot)
Tensionless Hitch Tying
Two useful Resource Sites that may aid you are:
http://www.cmcrescue.com/ ( - If you are an IPhone/IPad User – down load the App.)
1100 – Arrival, Registration at The Wild Lodge, - Lunch
01230 – Course Introduction,
Rescue 3 Course Philosophy.
· Principles of Water Rescue,
· Water Dynamics,
· Management/Organization & Size-Up. Dealing with bystanders
· Rescuer Safety & Equipment
Introduction to Ropes/Knots & Technical Equipment.
· Search Management & Helicopters
· Medical Considerations, Panic & Survival
1800 Evening Meal
1900 ‘C” Spine Rescues & Use of Improvised Collars - practical - In the Pool
2030 Course close for the day
0800 – Travel to WW Site, On Scene Site Safety Brief, Check PPE, Decontamination
0930 - PRACTICAL 1
· Throwlines – Dry land
· Basic Swimming Position, aggressive/defensive
· Throwlines wet – Coiled uncoiled – Practical Assessment
· Strainer Swim
1130 - LUNCH – by the River
1230 - PRACTICAL 2
· Anchors & Mechanical Advantage Systems
· Tension Diagonal
· Contact Rescues
· Paddle Boating – 2 & 4 point tether
· Tyrolean boat on tether
· Swimming in a Hole
1630 – Travel to The Wild Lodge
· 1730 Aggressive Adult CPR Practical Assessment
1900 Evening Meal & Social
0800 – Travel to WW Site, On Scene Site Safety Brief, Check PPE, Decontamination
0930 - PRACTICAL 3
· Shallow Water Crossings
· Swimming in a Hole
· Swim, Paddle, Shoot a line across the river
· Foot & body entrapments/vertical pinning
1130 - LUNCH
1230 - Student Scenarios – 2/3
1430 – Celebration of Achievement
1500 – Review, Reflection & “The Way Ahead”
1530 – Course Disperse. -
OTHER DETAILS: The Wild Lodge
Planet Scuba and the Wild Planet Co. Ltd. have over the last 15 years built a reputation for offering safe, fun and exciting adventure programs for Schools, colleges and corporate groups all over Thailand. Our intention with the Wild Lodge is to continue that reputation creating a location that offers first class programs, first class instruction and first class equipment within a relaxing and pleasant and ecologically sustainable environment.
We operate the Wild lodge in a way that promotes the active stewardship of our natural resources and surroundings and encourages current and future generations to protect it, but at the same time get out into nature and enjoy it. We realize that this involves individual commitment and may not be embraced by all, but if we can have all of our guests leave us with a better appreciation of the outdoors then we are some way forwards to making a difference.
We have eight individual lodges. each lodge has a front balcony, main room and rear anti room with an en suite bathroom and rain shower. The main room is large and can be set up with beds for up to 8 students dormitory style. All of the lodges are screened against insects.
Our main camp building has four bunkrooms and there is a dedicated staff lodge with four rooms + 2 more Siam rooms in the main lodge. All lodges and rooms have high ceilings with fans and additional freestanding fans and are designed to encourage natural ventilation.
Accommodation for this course will be on a twin or triple share basis, individual rooms can be optioned subject to availability and payment of a single supplement.
Food will be prepared on a communal basis with participants all contributing as this course is being subsidized by the Wild Lodge.
Meals will be taken in the main Hornbill Sala, water will be provided with meals.
Throughout the day, water will be available during all activities; participants are also required to carry their own water bottle (given to them at the start of the program), which can be refilled on demand within the lodge. All activity locations will also have a ‘drink station’
Note: Details of other lodge facilities + directions can be found in our main brochure or by going to www.thewildlodge.com
We are pushing forward with the development of the new cave site close to Wild Lodge 2 in Muang Khong and have secured a camp ground close to the entrance.
This is on a piece of land cleared 20 years ago from the forest so we plan on establishing an Eco camp site and reforesting over the next couple of years to return it to post encroachment state.
We will be putting on some conservative bolts in the next couple months so that we we use the cave we can tie off aluminum caving ladders protected via top rope for ingress/egress from the River exit end of the cave.
We will be conducting a survey to confirm water levels in the cave during the coming wet season and fixing some level markers. The cave itself is a 1.9km journey with squeezes and false ceiling off from the main route, an ideal introduction to caving which we will be incorporating into the 2012 UWCSEA Yr 8 expedition program.
I am just back from a WAFA course in Singapore, I attended wanting to gain another perspective on first aid and CPR and came away very impressed. Mark and Sarah gave a fantastic course and I met a great bunch of people.
We at the Wild lodge now plan to talk to the folks @ WMI in Wyoming about running some programs at the Wild Lodge in the latter part of this year.
In addition our good friend Rob Houghton will be coming over to run some two days outdoors programs with basic first aid and CPR with a Wilderness bent.
Details and scheduling to follow.