Four boys and their 25-year-old coach were all brought out safely by early Tuesday evening.
UNITED STATES.- A daring rescue mission in the treacherous confines of a flooded cave in northern Thailand has saved all 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped deep within the labyrinth, ending a grueling 18-day ordeal that claimed the life of an experienced diver and riveted people around the world.
Thailand’s Navy SEALs, who were central to the rescue effort, said on their Facebook page that the remaining four boys and their 25-year-old coach were all brought out safely by early Tuesday evening. Several hours later, a medic and three SEAL divers who had stayed for days with the boys in their tiny refuge in the cave also came out.
Eight of the boys were rescued by a team of Thai and international divers on Sunday and Monday.
“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 SEALs said, referring to the name of the boys’ soccer team. “Everyone is safe.”
Cheers erupted at a local government office where dozens of volunteers and journalists were awaiting news of whether the intricate and high-risk rescue mission had succeeded. Helicopters transporting the boys roared overhead. People on the street cheered and clapped when ambulances ferrying them on the last leg of their journey from the cave arrived at a hospital in Chiang Rai city.
Amporn Sriwichai, an aunt of the rescued coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, said she was happy and excited.“If I see him, I just want to hug him and tell him that I missed him very much,” she said.
Payap Maiming, who helped provide food and necessities to rescue workers and journalists, said a “miracle” had happened.
“I’m happy for Thais all over the country,”he said.“And actually just everyone in the world because every news channel has presented this story and this is what we have been waiting for.”
“It’s really a miracle,” Payap said.“It’s hope and faith that has brought us this success.”