The Thai Navy SEALs posted updates on their Facebook page throughout the extraordinary rescue of 12 boys — the Wild Boars soccer team — and their coach, who found themselves trapped by floodwaters miles inside the Tham Luang cave complex on an afternoon excursion at the tourist attraction near the Burmese border.
The boys subsisted on snacks they’d purchased beforehand to celebrate a team member’s birthday and were aided by the calming influence of their coach, a former Buddhist monk who taught them meditation in the underground labyrinth. They were discovered by British cave divers, and the rescue planned over several days included handoffs to some two dozen rescue divers in the system, using a pulley and stretcher for parts as well as reported sedatives to keep the boys from panicking and potentially pulling at their full face masks during the trip.
Saman Gunan, a former Thai Navy SEAL, lost his life on his way out of the cave during the early stages of the rescue op. He had been delivering oxygen tanks and lost consciousness.
“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 posted on their Facebook page July 10, followed by an update that four Thai divers who had stayed with the boys in the cave — one of them a doctor — were also out safely.
The SEALs have since shared video of the operation:
Rescuers arrived back from Chiang Rai today: