In what can only be described as a miracle, the 12 missing Thai boys of a football team and their coach, who have been gone for ten days in flooded underground caves in Thailand, have been found alive.
This is according to an announcement by the Chiang Rai governor on 2 July (Monday).
Families have made makeshift shrines to pray for the safety of the football team trapped in a cave.
Missing Thai Boys Found Alive: Parents’ And Wellwishers’ Prayers Answered
According to the BBC and Channel NewsAsia quoting Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, “Thai Navy seals have found all 13 with signs of life. We will take care of them until they can move.”
The Governor told reporters, “They are all safe but the mission is not completed. Our mission is to search, rescue and return. So far we just found them. Next mission is to bring them out from the cave and send them home.”
He elaborated that they would keep draining water from the cave, while at the same time, sending a team of medical experts to dive into the caves to check the health of the boys and their coach.
The BBC says that if doctors confirm they are strong enough to be moved, then, they will proceed to take the boys and their coach out of the cave.
The boys (between the ages of 11 and 16) and the coach first went missing on June 23 while on a trip to the Tham Luang caves. This network of caves is 10km long and runs underneath the northern Chiang Rai province mountains.
For ten days, frantic search operations — with the help of international rescue missions — were to no avail, blocked also by heavy rains that prevented entrance to the caves. Since the boys went missing, the world has been waiting with bated breath and prayers for their safe discovery.
Meanwhile, their friends and relatives have stationed themselves outside the caves, waiting for their loved ones’ return, and praying for their rescue.
Facts About The Missing Thai Boys
According to the BBC:
- The 12 boys are members of the Moo Pa – or Wild Boar – football team.
- Their 25-year-old assistant coach, Ekkapol Janthawong, is known to have occasionally taken them out on day trips – including a trip to the same cave two years ago.
- The youngest member, Chanin “Titan” Wibrunrungrueang, is 11. He started playing football aged seven.
- Duangpet “Dom” Promtep, 13, is the team captain and said to be the motivator of the group.
- The club’s head coach Nopparat Kantawong who did not join the group on their excursion, says he believes the boys, who dream of becoming professional football players in the future, will stick together.
We are delighted these brave young lads and their coach have been found. Here’s wishing they are in good health.
*This story will be updated with more details as and when we get them.
Sources: BBC, Channel NewsAsia