Final Four Boys and Their Coach Rescued from Thai Cave
By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The last of the 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Thailand for more than two weeks were freed Tuesday, the BBC reported. The Bangkok Post said the 25-year-old coach was the last to come out.
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The first four boys were brought out safely on Sunday. The second four were rescued on Monday.
Those eight remain in the hospital and are reported to be in good mental and physical condition. They have undergone X-rays and blood tests and will remain under observation in the hospital for at least seven days, the BBC reported.
So far, the names of all the boys have not been released to the public.
The members of the Wild Boars soccer team, ages 11 to 17, entered the cave system in Chiang Rai province during an excursion with their coach on June 23.
Rising floodwaters from heavy rains forced them deeper into the cave, which made their rescue dangerous and lengthy. One Thai navy diver died while attempting to place fresh oxygen tanks along the planned escape route.
Boys and Coach Found in Thailand by Two British Divers
After nine days in the cave, two British divers found the boys and their coach sitting on a ledge cut off from the outside world. Rescue efforts were accelerated in anticipation of further heavy rains due to the onset of the monsoon season.
An international team of expert divers, 40 from Thailand and 50 from other countries including the United States, worked tirelessly inside the cave complex. They set up a way station, Chamber Three, about halfway to the cave entrance to allow the boys to rest during the five-and a half-hour trip through darkness and submerged passageways.
Two divers accompanied each boy, one in front and one behind, to guide them to safety. One passageway was so narrow the divers had to remove their air tanks to pull each boy through the 40-centimeter (16-inch) gap.
According to the Post, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha dismissed rumors that the boys had been drugged to facilitate the rescue operation, saying the children had not been given any anesthetic. He said they were given "something to make them not too nervous and panic."
There is no indication yet when the boys’ parents will be reunited with their children.