The world watched with great suspense as multiple nations scrambled to evacuate the Wild Boar boys soccer team from the watery Tham Luam cave. The rescuers worked with time, oxygen, and the threat of inclement weather against them. They even suffered a casualty after one of their divers, Saman Gunan, a Thai former navy seal ran out of oxygen.
However, the saga appears to be ending happily for the boys and their families. After a days long operation where each boy was passed along intricate routes lined with oxygen tanks, the players and their coach have been brought to safety. Gunan’s efforts, which directly led up to the daring rescue have led to him being honored as a hero around the world.
The Thai Navy Seals Facebook page confirmed the exiting news, declaring “All 12 Wild Boars and coach have been extracted from the cave. All are safe.”
Cheers could be heard all around the mountain as rescuers, family members, naval divers, and researchers all rejoiced at the successful recovery effort, which took a grueling 72 hours. 90 divers participated in the team’s retrieval, 40 from Thailand and 50 from other nations. Even tech titan Elon Musk pledged his resources. Parents and other relatives of the boys, many who stood vigil outside the mountain for weeks, declared that they never gave up hope.
Sadly, the 12 children all must be quarantined for some time in case they contracted any illnesses during their entrapment. Their parents were prevented from hugging them and instead observed them emotionally through the glass windows of their special hospital ward. At least two appear to be suffering from lung infections contracted during their stay in the caves.
Doctors and psychologists will continue observing the boys’ physical and mental states.
Until their discovery, the boys survived on snacks for 17-year-old member Peerapat Sompiangjai’s birthday and rain water that trickled into the cave. When the first British diver came upon the group, 14-year-old Adul Sam-on was the only one who could speak English with him.
Assistant coach Ekapol Chantawong (25), who had guided the group through a tour of the cave before, but been caught off guard by the heavy rains was reportedly in the worst shape out of anyone when rescuers found them. He had refused to eat a single morsel of food, leaving every bite for the boys. While many of the boys wrote home expressing their hunger for chocolate and pork amongst other snacks, they will need a couple days to readapt to eating solid food and being in direct sunlight.
Meanwhile soccer teams and organizations around the world including FIFA and Manchester United have been sending well wishes and tokens of admiration to the team. Unfortunately, the boys will not be well enough in time to attend the World Cup finals in person, but the world is relieved at their return.