We have all been following the nail-biting saga of the twelve young Thai soccer players and their coach. They were trapped in a cave in Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand. They were there on a trip with their team (The Wild Boars) and coach. The boys range in age from 11 to 16 years old. The team has been stuck in the cave since June 23rd, 2018. The whole incident occurred due to monsoon rains that came in and trapped the group when they were down exploring the cave.
Parents, friends and family members had been holding 24-hour vigils at the cave as rescue teams worked day and night to get them out of the flooded cave.
Well, the good news is, that everyone in the cave has been rescued! It brings to end the nearly three-week ordeal. The trapped boys triggered an international rescue effort that captivated audiences around the world.
The twelfth boy and his coach were the last of the team to be rescued on Tuesday, after a complicated three-day operation.
In the last 18 days, what began as a local search for the missing thirteen people, turned into a complex rescue operation, involving hundreds of experts who flew in from around the world to help, including Tesla founder Elon Musk. A Thai Navy SEAL actually passed away in the rescue effort from a lack of oxygen trying to help bring oxygen to the trapped.
“We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave,” the Thai Navy SEALS said in a Facebook post confirming the entire soccer team had been rescued.
Nineteen divers entered the cave at 10 a.m. Thailand local time Tuesday (11 p.m. Monday ET), many of which were on their third mission in three days, with the aim of bringing everyone inside the cave out. Tuesday’s rescue took nine hours in total, from the time the divers entered the cave to bringing out the boys and their coach.
All eight boys rescued on Sunday and Monday are being treated in an isolation ward in a Chiang Rai hospital. Medical officials told reporters that the boys are healthy, fever-free, mentally fit and “seem to be in high spirits.”
The first group of boys taken out on Sunday aged from 14 to 16. Their body temperatures were very low when they emerged, and two are suspected of having lung inflammation. The families of the first four rescued have been able to see their sons through a glass window. They were also able to talk on the phone. They’ll be allowed to enter the room when tests show that the boys are free of infection.
Divers involved in the rescue described treacherous conditions, with fast-moving shallow water passing through very narrow passages.
“This is the hardest mission we’ve ever done. The lower the water is getting, the stronger the current. It’s stronger now. Every step of the extraction is risky. We can only see our hands (at a) short distance. Secondly, the stones are razor sharp which is dangerous for our diving, (and) thirdly the passage is very narrow.” said Narongsuk Keasub, a diver for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.