Joy and relief as Thai cave boys rescued
[July 11 2018]
rescue: Elation as Thai boys and
coach freed by divers
Three Thai navy divers and a medic, who stayed with the group while the rescue took place, were the last to emerge
Joy and relief have greeted the rescue of 12 boys and
their football coach from flooded caves in northern Thailand after
divers completed a daring operation to bring them out.
Seventeen days after they got trapped underground, the
last five members of the group emerged on Tuesday.
Their plight and the complex three-day-long operation
to free them gripped the world's attention.
Celebrations have swept the South East Asian nation
and further afield.
There were cheers around the Tham Luang cave system in
the country's Chiang Rai province as a rescue operation involving dozens
of divers and hundreds of other rescue workers came to an end on Tuesday
At the house just below the mountains where the men
who run the Wild Boars football team meet, there was laughter, shouts
and cheers - and people shook hands in a very un-Thai way, says BBC
In the nearby city of Chiang Rai, the news was greeted
by the honking of car horns while people gathered outside the hospital -
where all those rescued from the caves were taken for treatment - broke
On social media, Thais showed their feelings about the
rescuers by using hashtags including #Heroes and #Thankyou.
Offers of hospitality for the boys, the coach and
their rescuers have come in from international football clubs including
Manchester United and Benfica.
How did the drama unfold?
The group was cut off on 23 June after heavy rains
flooded their way back out of Tham Luang.
Aged between about 11 and 17, the members of the Wild
Boars football team had entered the cave system during an excursion with
The boys, aged between 11 and 17, became trapped with their coach on 23 June
They were found by British divers last week, huddled
in darkness on a ledge.
Elation at the discovery of all 13 members of the
group alive quickly turned to concern as it emerged just how difficult
it would be to rescue boys who could not swim and had been weakened by
their time underground.
The complex, three-day operation saw four boys emerge
on Sunday, four on Monday, and the final four boys plus their coach on
Tuesday. All were immediately taken to hospital, but they are said to be
in reasonable condition given their ordeal.
Confirming the completion of the rescue operation, the
Thai Navy Seals Facebook page announced: "We are not sure if this is a
miracle, science, or what. All the 13 Wild Boars are now out of the
What next for the boys?
The first eight boys to be rescued - on Sunday and
Monday - are still in hospital but said to be in good mental and
physical health, and have now been joined by the four boys and the
25-year-old coach who were rescued on Tuesday.
X-rays and blood tests have been ordered, and they
will remain under observation in hospital for at least seven days.
Their parents have been allowed to see them through a
glass window at the hospital, but they are being quarantined.
Drinking contaminated water in the cave or being
exposed to bird or bat droppings could lead to dangerous infections,
The boys lost weight during their time in the caves
and are keen to eat. They are said to have requested a favourite pork
dish, bread and chocolate, but solid food will have to be reintroduced
slowly to prevent any digestive upset.
They will also need to wear sunglasses for a few days
until their eyes readjust to the brighter light.
Offers of hospitality for the football team have come
in from around the world:
Global football body Fifa offered the 12 young
footballers tickets for Sunday's World Cup final in Moscow, but they are
too weak to travel.
Portuguese club Benfica has invited the boys and their
coach an all-expenses-paid week at its training academy.
Manchester United - the English club several of the
boys support - has offered them the chance to attend a game.
England football players preparing for a World Cup
semi-final with Croatia - including Manchester City defender Kyle Walker
- are sending football kit to the boys after one of them was pictured
wearing an England shirt inside the caves.
How were they rescued?
A team of 90 expert divers - 40 from Thailand and 50
from overseas - worked in the Tham Luang caves.
They guided the boys and their coach through darkness
and submerged passageways towards the mouth of the cave system.
Getting to and from the trapped group was an
exhausting round trip, even for experienced divers.
The process included a mixture of walking, wading,
climbing and diving along guide ropes.
Wearing full-face masks, which are easier for novice
divers than traditional respirators, each boy was accompanied by two
divers, who also carried his air supply.
The toughest part was about halfway out at a section
named "T-Junction", which was so tight that the divers had to take off
their air tanks to get through.
Beyond that a cavern - called Chamber 3 - was turned
into a forward base for the divers.
There the boys could rest before making the last,
easier walk out to the entrance. They were then taken to hospital in
The last of the rescue team - three Thai Navy Seals
and a doctor - emerged from the cave complex some hours after the last
member of the trapped group was released.
Who are the boys and their coach?
Details have emerged of members of the team and their
Captain Duganpet Promtep, 13, is described as a
motivator and highly respected by his teammates. He had apparently been
scouted by several Thai professional clubs.
Myanmar-born Adul Sam-on, 14, speaks several
languages, and was the only team member to be able to communicate with
British divers when they were first discovered.
It was 17-year-old Peerapat Sompiangjai's birthday
when the group became trapped in the cave. The snacks the boys brought
with them to celebrate are likely to have helped them survive their
Assistant coach Ekapol Chantawong, 25, was said to be
the weakest of the group when they were found, as he had reportedly
refused to eat any of the food and gave it instead to the boys.
Courtesy : BBC News
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