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VIDEO AND FULL REPORT. Thailand cave rescue: all 12 boys and coach successfully rescued

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Thai Cave Rescue Operation (10 July 2018)

Hooyah!

All twelve members of a boy’s football team and their coach have been rescued, after being trapped in a cave in Thailand for 18 days. The Thai navy Seals, who have been running the operation, confirmed that all 13 were out. “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science or what”, the Seals said on their Facebook page.

Three navy seals and a doctor, who had been with the boys, emerged safely from the cave several hours later. The four boys and their coach rescued on Tuesday have been airlifted to hospital to join their eight teammates rescued on Sunday and Monday.

Thai cave rescue operations

The news has been greeted by global jubilation and the rescue workers have been lauded by world leaders. Donald Trump tweeted “great job” and Theresa May said:

“The world was watching and will be saluting the bravery of all those involved.”

Fifa has confirmed that the rescued boys will not be able to attend the World Cup final on Sunday as previously hoped. Doctors have said they need to remain in hospital for at least seven days. Manchester United, who most of the boys support, have invited the boys to Old Trafford next season.

Watch video here:

Video credit BBC

The final rescue operation began at 10.08am local time on Tuesday as the first eight boys, freed in operations on Sunday and Monday, recuperated at a hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai. The authorities said preparations for the final rescue mission were unaffected by heavy overnight rain.

Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, a physician from the Thai ministry of public health, said the eight boys rescued on Sunday and Monday were “cheerful”. Two boys among the first batch to be freed, who he said were aged between 14 and 16, had shown possible signs of pneumonia and all had low temperatures when they arrived.

The rescued boys are being kept in isolation to avoid the risk of infection, but the first batch have been seen by their parents through a glass window. They are not yet allowed to eat the rich Thai food they’ve been requesting – so far it’s diluted porridge, bread, and some chocolate.

Thai cave rescue operations

The office of Thailand’s prime minister has thanked the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk for his offers of help. Officials praised his mini-submarine but said it was not needed. Musk praised the “outstanding rescue team” but questioned the expertise of the official who turned down his submarine.

We’re pausing the blog for now but will update if there are more major developments. For now here’s our full report:

Everyone out

The remaining doctor and three Thai navy Seals are now also safely out of the cave.

michael safi (@safimichael)

Seals and medics are now out #thamluangrescue
July 10, 2018

michael safi (@safimichael)

Doctor and three seals have passed chamber two and everybody will be out in 15 mins.

Elon Musk has been getting tetchy with Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation, after he politely turned down Musk’s offer of help and said his mini sub was not needed.

“Even though their equipment is technologically sophisticated, it doesn’t fit with our mission to go in the cave,” Osatanakorn told reporters.

Musk suggested Osatanakorn was no expert on the matter.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

The former Thai provincial governor (described inaccurately as “rescue chief”) is not the subject matter expert. That would be Dick Stanton, who co-led the dive rescue team. This is our direct correspondence.

The US first lady, Melania Trump, has praised the “amazing & heroic global effort” of the rescue. Is there a coded message there aimed at her husband who is not a great advocate of heroic global efforts?

Melania Trump (@FLOTUS)

Wonderful to hear all 12 boys & their coach are out of the cave in #Thailand. What an amazing & heroic global effort! Wishing them all a speedy recovery.

“The incredible scenes we have witnessed are a model of international cooperation and coordinated selflessness,” writes Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore.

This story touches us because it is elemental, but also because every detail runs counter to the egomania and selfishness and fake bravado that appears to be running the world. The parents of the boys wrote to reassure the young coach that they didn’t blame him. Some say he had got the boys meditating in the cave. The Thai government has calmly insisted on protecting the boys and their families from cameras.

Thai TV has shown footage of an ambulance believed to be carrying the coach, Ekaphol Chantawong to the hospital in Chiang Rai. Here’s what we know about him:

Chantawong, 25, took his squad into the cave on 23 June. He was once ordained as a Buddhist monk, and since leaving the monkhood has spent much of his time caring for his grandmother. Thai news outlets have reported that the authorities have not ruled out charging him with a crime, but Thai government spokesman Lt Gen Werachon Sukondhapatipak told the Guardian that “no one is talking about that”.

Werachon said the coach’s presence had been a comfort to the boys: “The coach is advising them that they need to lie down, of course [try] meditation, try not to move their bodies too much, try not to waste their energy. And of course, by meditation, they stay conscious all the time, so their mind will not be wandering around.”

The parents of the boys wrote the coach telling him: “Please don’t blame yourself.”

“To all the kids,” one letter, written by the mother of Nattawut Takamsai, 14, said: “We are not mad at you at all. Do take good care of yourself. Don’t forget to cover yourself with blankets as the weather is cold. We’re worried. You will come out soon.”

Addressing the coach she said: “We want you to know that no parents are angry with you at all, so don’t you worry about that.”

Michael Safi

The last three navy seals and the medic, who were with the boys for the last few days, are still in the cave. It is unclear when they will emerge, but they are said to be on their way out.

The weakest boys were the last to be taken out, sources have said. They are understood to include the youngest in the group – 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungrueng.

The city of Chiang Rai is starting to party as drivers honk their horns, according to Reuters.

“This is an important event in my life. It is something I will remember,” said a visibly emotional Rachapol Ngamgrabuan, an official at Chiang Rai’s provincial press office.

“There were times when I cried,” he added. “Happy. Very happy to see all Thai people love each other.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha said he would host a celebration for all of those involved in the multinational rescue effort.

“We will host a meal for all sides,” said Prayuth.

What we know so far

All twelve members of a boy’s football team and their coach have been rescued, after being trapped in a cave in Thailand for 18 days. The Thai navy Seals, who have been running the operation, confirmed that all 13 were out. “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science or what”, the Seals said on their Facebook page.

The news has been greeted by global jubilation and the rescue workers have been lauded by world leaders. Donald Trump tweeted “great job” and Theresa May said:

“The world was watching and will be saluting the bravery of all those involved.”

Three navy seals and a doctor, who had been with the boys, are expected to emerge from the cave soon. The four boys and their coach rescued on Tuesday have been airlifted to hospital to join their eight teammates rescued on Sunday and Monday.

Fifa has confirmed that the rescued boys will not be able to attend the World Cup final on Sunday as previously hoped. Doctors have said they need to remain in hospital for at least seven days. Manchester United have invited the boys to Old Trafford next season.

The final rescue operation began at 10.08am local time on Tuesday as the first eight boys, freed in operations on Sunday and Monday, recuperated at a hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai. The authorities said preparations for the final rescue mission were unaffected by heavy overnight rain.

Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, a physician from the Thai ministry of public health, said the eight boys rescued on Sunday and Monday were “cheerful”. Two boys among the first batch to be freed, who he said were aged between 14 and 16, had shown possible signs of pneumonia and all had low temperatures when they arrived.

The rescued boys are being kept in isolation to avoid the risk of infection, but the first batch have been seen by their parents through a glass window. They are not yet allowed to eat the rich Thai food they’ve been requesting – so far it’s diluted porridge, bread, and some chocolate.

The office of Thailand’s prime minister has thanked the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk for his offers of help. Officials praised his mini-submarine but said it was not needed. Musk praised the “outstanding rescue team”.

Fifa has confirmed that the boys won’t be able to make the World Cup final on Sunday while they recover from their ordeal, the BBC’s Richard Conway reports.

Medics said the boys would have stay in hospital for at least seven days.

Richard Conway (@richard_conway)

Breaking: Fifa expresses “its great joy at the news of the rescue of the 12 young footballers and their coach.”
Confirms due to medical reasons “the boys will not be in a position to travel to Moscow for the World Cup final. Priority remains the health of everyone involved.”

The last of the rescued boys are being airlifted to hospital as night falls over the area.

Amid global jubilation many are pausing to remember Saman Kunan, the former Thai Navy Seal who died last week trying to save the boys.

They include the Italian football team AS Roma and the Spanish royal family.

AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN)

The best football news of the summer – ALL 12 young Thai players and their coach have been rescued after being trapped in a cave in Thailand for two weeks.

Our thoughts are with the family of ex-Navy SEAL diver Saman Kunan who died after delivering the boys oxygen. A real hero.

Bhutan’s prime minister, Tshering Tobgay, joins the international celebrations. “Hooyah!!!” he tweeted.

The Guardian

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