Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, Thailand, announced that rescuers found missing 12 boys soccer team and their coach alive in a flooded cave in Thailand nine days after the group went missing.
The boys, who range in ages from 11 to 16 years old and are all members of the Wild Boar soccer team, entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system on Saturday, June 23. A park officer first sounded the alarm after spotting the boys' bicycles near the entrance to the off-limits cave complex. The international rescue operation includes the Thai Navy SEALs as well as experts from the US, China, Australia and the UK. "I confirm they are all safe," the Governor said. Medical teams have been sent inside the cave and it would take them around four hours to assess the group’s health and how fit they are before coming up with a strategy to get them out.
Rescuers in the flooded cave
It is a difficult rescue mission. The next phase will suppose a lot of work. All the water which flooded the cave will be purged off before the recued soccer team could go out of the cave. It will take some time to get the boys out of the cave. Thailand’s prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, thanked the international experts and rescuers who helped locate the missing for their “tremendous efforts”. Tham Luang cave is one of Thailand’s longest and one of the toughest to navigate, with snaking chambers and narrow passageways. A sign outside the site warns visitors not to enter the cave during the rainy season.