Terrifying footage of the ‘miraculous’ Thai cave rescue has shed some light on just how grim the situation truly was for 12 boys and their football coach.
A team consisting of Thai divers and aid workers had been working tirelessly to ensure the football team and their coach made it out of the cave in Tham Luang Nang Non, which is located in the northern Thailand province of Chiang Rai.
However divers and rescue workers were still 1.5km inside the cave when the main pump failed, leading to a rapid rise in water levels. One hundred rescuers inside the cave rushed to the exit, including three Thai navy Seals who had spent much time with the trapped boys. Thankfully they escaped the cave less than half an hour later.
Now, for the first time, we can get a glimpse of how chequered the path to safety was:
Released by the Thai Navy SEALs on their Facebook page, the clips show the boys being stretchered away to safety while donned in wetsuits and diving gear.
The first of the boys was rescued three days ago (July 8) while the ongoing rescue mission saw eight of the footballers out by the end of the second day. Yesterday, (July 11), it was announced the final four boys and their 25-year-old coach had emerged from the cave.
Nineteen Thai divers went into the cave system around 10.08am local time and authorities were confident of getting the remaining five all out at the same time. They also expected the mission to take a few hours less than it had the previous two days.
It is thought all the boys have now seen their families but only through glass while medical checks continue to take place.
Two of the boys were said to have minor lung infections while all others remain healthy. All the boys are being shielded from TV and media in order to protect their mental health.
After all 12 boys and their coach were rescued from the cave, they were taken to a nearby hospital to check for any injuries or illnesses they may have picked up during their two-week ordeal.
The boys’ coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, said he kept them calm through meditation he’d learnt as a trainee monk.
In a letter sent through to the divers, he wrote:
Right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care. I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible.
I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologise to the parents.
Chanthawong is reportedly suffering from malnutrition after ensuring the boys in the cave were fed ahead of himself while trapped.
It just goes to show what the human race is capable of in times of dire need and struggle. What these divers did, what Ekapol did, what the boys themselves did, is a demonstration of just how better we work in unison.
The world may seem pretty ugly at the minute, but there’s always going to be the good guys.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of everyone involved.
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