13 Trapped Thai Soccer Players All Successfully Rescued from Cave
For several days, the fate of the Thai boys’ soccer team trapped deep in a flooded cave seemed to be sealed, with little to no hope of rescue. With torrential rain and a dwindling supply of oxygen, rescue operators were getting desperate. However, with the tireless work put in by the brave rescue crew, and the collective international effort and support, every single boy trapped in the cave was successfully rescued.
The operation to save the boys was nothing short of remarkable, with rescue divers and experts brought in from around the world to help plan the daring operation. A team of Thai Navy SEALs was tasked with rescuing the trapped boys. Donning diving gear, they had to navigate the cramped flooded tunnels of the caves in order to reach the boys. Saman Kunam, a 38-year old retired navy officer, died while placing compressed-air tanks along the route throughout the complex tunnel system. Officials called him “a hero not only for Thais but for the whole world.” His body was taken to a naval base in central Thailand, then on to his family in the northeastern part of the country.
This did not stop the team from continuing their efforts, as eventually they were able to locate the boys, and extract them one by one. The rescuers equipped the boys with diving gear and ushered them through the dangerous tunnel system that was said to be challenging for even the most experienced divers. The swim was through tunnels with near-zero visibility, with jagged rocks and rapidly flowing water. Some of the boys had to be taught to swim in the pools of water in the cave before embarking on the escape route.
The Thai navy SEALS shared a post saying, “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the 13 Wild Boars are now out of the cave.” As the boys were taking to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, locals lined the streets cheering with joy as the ambulances drove by. People from across the world expressed their elation upon hearing of the successful rescue attempt. The hashtag #BringWildBoarTeamHome has been used more than 1.2 million times.
Narongsak Osottoanakorn, rescue mission chief for the operation, spoke on the lesson that was offered from this, saying “I want to see the world love each other. I want to see Thailand love each other like what we have seen today.”
Chanthawong, the coach who was responsible for leading the children into the caves for a hike, had previously profusely apologized for doing so. He was extremely regretful that he did not think of the dangers of leading them into a cave so close to monsoon season. Nonetheless, he was praised by Thai social media, portraying him as a hero for looking after the children underground.
Currently, all of the boys are in good condition as they are being monitored by doctors at a Thai hospital. According to the chief doctor, the boys were all happy and talkative amongst each other.