All 12 Boys, Soccer Coach Rescued from Flooded Cave in Thailand

Lawrence Kim
July 11, 2018

One of the most extraordinary rescue missions in living memory has ended with all 12 Thai soccer players and their coach saved from deep inside the Tham Luang cave complex.

The Thai army sent more than 1,000 personnel to help in the rescue of a soccer team and its coach trapped in a flooded cave, the head of the operation said on Tuesday. The first rescue mission of the soccer team commenced on Sunday, July 8.

The plan, he said, is to bring out the four boys and their coach on Tuesday if the weather cooperates. "All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave", the Thai Navy SEAL unit, which led the rescue, said on its Facebook page.

Thai navy SEALs and an Australian medic who had been stationed with the boys for days, preparing them for their dive, were brought out of the cave soon after.

"Miracles may happen every day but this is one for the ages", said Cornell Brooks, chief executive of the NAACP civil rights group in the United States. "It's just an incredible thing and we think it will inspire millions around the world", he said. They will likely be kept in the hospital for a week to undergo tests, officials said on Tuesday. The boys who were initially rescued asked for basil fried rice, but doctors are instead feeding them soft foods like Congee, a Chinese rice porridge.

Each time the commander of the rescue mission held a news conference outside a local government office, hundreds of journalists crammed together for the latest updates.

Four boys and the coach are still trapped.

As of press time, the first eight boys to emerge from the cave were in relatively good health but still in hospital.

The hazardous bid to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - started unexpectedly on Sunday when the rescue team said conditions were ideal for the evacuation. In footage captured by the BBC, families of the boys were seen hugging in front of television screens in their homes, as residents in the nearby city of Chiang Rai lined the streets, clapping and taking videos of the ambulances carrying the last few boys to Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital.

But two boys had "suspected lung problems which are being investigated", she added.

A message posted on the English Premier League club's Twitter account said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected".

A team of Dutch water specialists from Friesland travelled to Thailand to support the drainage efforts, while Elon Musk left a mini-submarine "made of rocket parts & named Wild Boar after [the] kids" soccer team'.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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