In an event that could have ended in complete disaster, the Thai youth Soccer team and their coach have successfully been rescued from the flooded cave.
On June 23, the Wild Boar soccer team went for an outing after playing and were soon trapped in Tham Luang Nang Non cave because of a flash flood. The missing 12 boys aged 11 to 16 and their 25-year-old coach wouldn’t be found until July 2.
Although rescuers had found the group, it wasn’t an easy mission to rescue them. The passageways of the cave were treacherous in some places, much of the cave was still flooded, none of the boys knew how to swim, and it would take at least 6 hours to navigate.
The cave was so dangerous that even experienced divers had trouble. One Thai Navy SEAL lost his life traversing the tunnels and bringing supplies to the group.
Rescuers considered many options on how to save the team but eventually decided that diving was the only way. They began to practice how they would go about assisting the boys and gave them a crash course in swimming.
They put their plan into action on Sunday, successfully rescuing 4 of the 13 trapped people. The mission resumed once again on Monday and 4 more of the boys emerged from the cave, and with the imminent threat of more rain, the rescue team pushed through and helped the final 4 boys and their coach out of the cave on Tuesday.
A few hours later the remaining Thai Navy SEALs and medical staff that had assisted the boys while they were trapped were free too.
After each group emerged, they were taken to the hospital in Chiang Rai where they were checked over. According to sources, two of the boys have a slight fever but everyone appears to be in relatively good health.
The group will be cared for and monitored at the hospital for at least a week but some of the boys have already gotten a sweet reunion with their families.
But the sweet feelings don’t stop there. As soon as the last people had safely made it out, one of the SEALs sent out a message saying that everyone was alright.
“12 Wild Boars and the coach out of the cave. Everyone safe. Hooyah!” — Thai Navy SEALs
When news reached a local government office where dozens of volunteers and journalists were waiting, everyone let out a big cheer! And people cheered and clapped on the streets of Chiang Rai as the boys arrived at the hospital.
The celebration has even extended beyond Thailand with many people taking to social media to express their relief that the boys made it out safely.
“We are all thinking and so happy for the families of those boys.” — @biannagolodryga on entire soccer team and coach rescued from Thai cave https://t.co/2tD5NWiLst #ThaiCaveRescue pic.twitter.com/d9tzJmxckt
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) July 10, 2018
— Louisa Cheatley (@louisacheatley) July 10, 2018
While there is promising news from #Thailand cave rescue mission, I hope everyone takes pause to honor the former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan. He volunteered to help the soccer team, and died underwater delivering oxygen canisters so the boys and their coach could breathe. #Hero pic.twitter.com/JkFL33fQYc
— Annie Yu (@AnnieYuFox5) July 8, 2018
In a harsh world full of political division and conflict, THIS is beautiful news the whole world can celebrate in unison.
— Glennie Sims (@glennie_sims) July 10, 2018
It seems like the whole world is celebrating the happy homecoming and safe return of the Wild Boars soccer team.