The expert divers who heroically extracted 12 boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand have received a second call-up, this time to rescue Carlton from the bottom of the AFL ladder.
After seeing the diving team’s heroics on TV, Blues coach Brendon Bolton got in touch to ask if they could assist with a similarly disastrous situation at Princes Park.
The divers are understood to have accepted the challenge, and will board a flight to Australia later today.
When asked why he’d hired a team of cave divers to rescue his football side, which operates exclusively above-ground, Bolton told journalists that he’s “willing to try anything at this point”.
“We heard that these guys are really good at bailing sports teams out of hopeless situations,” he explained.
“You don’t know until you try.”
Carlton became trapped at the bottom of the AFL ladder in Round 3 of this season. They ascended momentarily in Round 8, but slipped back to bottom the following week and have remained there ever since.
The divers have already begun to develop a rescue strategy. Just hours ago, a spokesman for the group released a statement outlining two possible approaches.
“One option is to just wait it out until the end of the season,” the statement read. It went on to add that “this option isn’t desirable, because it would require the players to stay trapped at the bottom of the ladder for many months, which could potentially inflict severe damage to their mental health.”
The second option was more daring: “Alternatively, we could dive to the murky depths of the ladder and try to drag Carlton closer to the surface.”
It’s a long shot — impossible, some might say. But these cave divers have proven themselves capable of dragging teenage boys for four kilometres through perilously narrow underground waterways with limited oxygen supplies and visibility.
So maybe, just maybe, Carlton stand a chance.