All 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped inside a flooded mountain cave in Thailand have been rescued after they were missing for 9 days. The governor of the region has reported that all of them are found alive after a mammoth search and rescue operation by divers from a Thai navy SEAL unit. However, the health condition of the football group is still unknown. The challenge now will be to extract the party safely from the cave with rising water and mud standing as a hinder to the access.
Since the group went missing inside the Tham Luang Cave, the search effort has gripped the nation and led to an outpouring of support. Reportedly, the boys aged between 11 to 16 years and their coach went to explore the caves on June 23 but did not return for over a week. An international search effort, including British, Chinese, Australian and American experts was set up for the rescue operation. Chang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn told the reporters, “We will bring food to them and a doctor who can dive. I am not sure they can eat as they have not eaten for a while.”
Narongsak informed that the divers reached the spot earlier in the week but could not continue as they were forced back by rushing flood waters inside the cave. When water levels comparatively dropped on July 1, the divers stepped forward, arranging a rope line and extra oxygen supplies on the way. Narongsak told the reporters, “They are all safe, but the mission is not completed. Our mission is to search, rescue and return, so far we just found them. Next mission is to bring them out from the cave and send them home.”
The governor further informed that the rescue team would continue to drain the waters out of the cave and that doctors and nurses have been sent inside to check the health of the boys and their coach. “We will look after them until they can return to school,” added the Governor Narongsak. The soccer team is called the Moo Pa- or Wild Boar. The week-long rescue operation awakens the nation prompting emotional outpourings online as well wishers pray for their safe return. It has been reported that the football team is still inside the cave and the rescue experts will bring them out any time soon.