Over the last couple of weeks, the world has waited anxiously for the Wild Boars football team to be rescued from the Tham Luang cave.
The thought of the young boys and their coach trapped, hungry and afraid, in the dark, flooded cave system was terrifying.
After 18 days of a waking nightmare, the entire team and their coach have thankfully been retrieved and we are now getting details of their ordeal.
One of the incredibly brave boys played a very important part in saving his friends’ lives during the rescue effort, using his impressive skillset.
This whole story is beyond insane. 10 days in a cave. Learnt how to swim. Learn how to dive. PROCEED TO CAVE DIVE. These boys have more guts and resilience that I have in my whole body #ThaiCaveResue
— Richelle Cox (@rvchellecox) July 10, 2018
— Joubert Botha (@JoubertBotha) July 10, 2018
finally all of them, 12 boys + coach already rescued. thankyou for thai navy seals, british divers, the bird nest's team, all volunteers around the world thankyou so much. thankyou thankyou and thankyou, you all already did well and did the best #ThaiCaveRescue #ThamLuangcave pic.twitter.com/exlW1dJs26
— ? (@164kg) July 10, 2018
Promising student 14-year-old Adul Sam-on is known to be top of his class, with an excellent academic record and impressive sporting abilities.
What makes Adul all the more amazing is his life story, which has not been an easy road.
According to the New York Times, stateless Adul was born into poverty and illiteracy in a territory in Myanmar, spending his early years in an area infamous for guerrilla warfare, opium cultivation and methamphetamine trafficking.
Find out more about this brave rescue effort below:
In the self-governing Wa region of Adul’s birth, boys were at risk of getting coerced into the local guerrilla force.
Adul’s parents wanted a better life for a son, where he could receive a good education and prosper.
And so when he was 6 years old, his parents moved Adul over to Thailand to study. They left him at a local Baptist church in Mae Sai, asking the pastor and his wife to look after him.
He was the only one of his five siblings able to receive this opportunity.
— American Warrior Int (@AW_Initiative) July 11, 2018
#ThaiCaveRescue now with the boys and the Hero coach back, looking at the people of Thailand,farmers mostly,Thai navy seals,doctor and divers,Australian,American,British,proved beyond doubt the world is a beautiful place so are it's people this collage says it all….Cheers to pic.twitter.com/mUi1R2tkJ2
— mohammed sikander (@sikanderbang) July 11, 2018
Adul flourished thanks to this chance, becoming a top pupil. His performance in sports and in class earned him a scholarship covering hhis tuition and a daily lunch.
According to the New York Times, the Ban Wiang Phan School principal, Punnawit Thepsurin has praised Adul’s ‘fighting spirit’:
Stateless children have a fighting spirit that makes them want to excel.
Adul is the best of the best.
— HanJam (@iamhannibee) July 11, 2018
So very thankful that all were saved from the Thai caves. Prayers for the family of the Seal who died trying to rescue them. #ThaiCaveResue
— Karen R Lyons (@SCklyons) July 11, 2018
I am happy to hear that All the Thai boys (Wild boar)Have successfully rescued from the dark, narrowed Cave.Massive thank and huge respect for all the Navy rescuers, police, army, doctor and member of public From Nepal . RIP to selfless diver who lost his life . #ThaiCaveResue
— Ravi Aryal (@IamRabi1) July 11, 2018
Among Adul’s many talents is an aptitude for languages, with the clever teenager being fluent in English, Thai, Burmese, Mandarin and Wa.
And it was this set of skills which helped save his teammates’ lives. Adul was able to speak with the British divers who had come to save them, acting as a translator.
His multi-lingual communications proved to be vital during the rescue effort, allowing Adul to explain the group’s most pressing needs to the divers, such as food and clarity on how long the group had managed to stay alive.
When one of the other boys attempted to communicate their need for food in broken English, Adul was able to reassure him how this point had already been covered.
Lawddd my eyes ? are ? sweating?! Watching those Thai babies waving that they are okay and hearing their parents singing, “I love you” to them through the glass. So so thankful to God they are okay. #ThaiCaveResue #ThaiCave #13Strong
— Nikki Blount Jackson (@NikkiBJaxx417) July 11, 2018
Adul’s parents continued to expect very high standards of their son, even during such a perilous situation.
According to the New York Times, the parents sent the following note into the cave:
After you come out of the cave, you have to say thank you to every single officer.
I’m sure they will be even more proud of academic Adul when they hear about his crucial role in the rescue effort.
— Brie (@coolbreeeze_) July 8, 2018
Thai Navy Seals took this photo with international divers just before going into the cave. They’ve posted a message on Facebook, declaring “we will bring the Wild Boar team home” #thanluangcave #thaicaverescue #tennews pic.twitter.com/moPCdiJt8T
— Daniel Sutton (@danielsutton10) July 8, 2018
The moment when the last group of rescuers walk out of the cave following Thai Navy Seals who kept Wild Boar company in the cave for the last 6 days #ThaiCaveRescue cr. Sripattra JunSaengsook pic.twitter.com/Lb6pv0FiID
— Give ♥ (@Im_Give) July 10, 2018
Now, if this story doesn’t inspire you to go out and learn another language then nothing will.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.