Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Thai football team rescue celebrated in the Dutch media

Thai football team rescue celebrated in the Dutch media

Rescuers have freed all of the Wild Boars football team from a cave in northern Thailand more than two weeks after the 12 boys and their coach were cut off by floodwaters.

The coach was the last one out of the Tham Luang cave complex.

Acting Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osattanakorn, who is also head of the joint command center, said that 18 divers and a support team of 100 took nine hours in the second phase of rescues at the Tham Luang cave on Monday, as opposed to 11 hours on Sunday.

Rescue officials were hopeful that the final four boys and their coach would be rescued Tuesday. A fresh operation to save the remaining five people was launched on Tuesday.

A senior public health official said separately that a medical team tending to the eight boys who have already been brought out from the cave has assured that they are in good health.

Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the rescued boys and some of their parents said they had not been told who had been brought out.

Volunteers from as far away as Australia and the United States helped with the effort to rescue the boys. When the first four were rescued, one of the first things they asked was how the tournament was going.

The most recent boys to have been rescued have been stretchered out of the cave system, amid fears that they could have contracted a nasty illness.

19 divers are involved in the mission to bring the last four boys and their coach to safety, and more will enter gradually through the day.

Another four boys were rescued Monday.

Authorities said earlier divers had to hold the boys close to bring them as they made their way out along a guide rope, and each boy had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing.

Jesada Chokdumrongsuk said that the boys are "healthy and smiling", he added: "the kids are footballers so they have high immune systems".

Former Chiang Rai governor and rescue mission commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn said Monday night that it would take 20 hours to prepare for the operation, but he cautioned timings could change depending on weather and water levels.

Elon Musk visited the flooded Thailand cave to offer a "kid-sized" submarine to help with the rescue - only to be told his technology wasn't "practical" to the mission.

Musk tweeted: "Just returned from Cave 3". They were trapped in the cave that became flooded by monsoon rains while they were exploring it after a soccer practice on June 23. Jedsada said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face, "because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave".

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