Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thoughts on the Chilean Miners

I just saw the rescue of Chilean miner Carlos Bugueno on CNN a couple of minutes ago.

Twenty-three up. Ten to go.

How thirty-three men could survive deep underground for sixty nine days with limited food, water and medicine is a testament to the human spirit and its capacity for faith.

This is Chile's finest hour.

It also didn't hurt that Centre Rock, a small driling company from Berlin, Pennsylvania (about 75 miles southeast of Pittsburgh) using a little ingenuity, initiative and elbow grease stepped into the breach and drilled their way to the trapped miners. Tom Foy, an employee of Centre Rock, put it this way:

They said, 'Well, heck, they ain't getting out till Christmastime, and I know and Brandon knows and we all knew we could get down to them faster than that. We proved that Center Rock is a little company, but they do big things.

Somehow I think Berlin, Pennsylvania and Copiapo, Chile are going to become sister cities.

On a personal note, my maternal grandfather worked in a coal mine in Coleman, Alberta for forty three years beginning in 1930 when he was only a boy of fifteen. If something like that were to have happened when he was still mining there is no way they would have lasted ten weeks much less ten days.

One of the most famous mining disasters in Canadian history took place in Springhill, Nova Scotia in 1958. It claimed the lives of 74 miners but 100 miners survived. Twelve of those survivors were trapped underground for nearly a week despite not having food or water. One of those miners was Douglas Jewkes and all he wanted was a bottle of 7UP.

With that I think I'll have a 7UP and give a toast to the Chilean miners.

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