On June 23, 2018, the youth Wild Boars soccer squad went to visit the Tham Luang karstic cave with their assistant coach. The intention was to spend no more than an hour in the cave. However, the group ended up staying for more than three hours. On the other hand, as shown in the documentary series “Thai Cave Rescue” available on Netflix, it turned into more than 17 days when they found themselves stranded inside the cave as a result of sudden and intense downpour that flooded their exit method. Now that we know that every one of them did, in fact, make it out okay after an intense search and rescue operation that lasted for three days (July 8-10, 2018), let’s learn the specifics of the order in which they were removed from the cave, shall we?
This is the sequence in which the wild boars were saved
There were rumors circulating in 2018, when the situation was still unfolding, that the medical lead and cave diver Dr. Richard “Harry” Harris played a role in choosing which of the boys should be rescued first. However, this is not the case. The thirteen people whose lives were truly in jeopardy were given the option to make their own decisions, which was especially helpful considering that there was no crisis preference because everyone was doing reasonably well. During a press conference held in late July, assistant Coach Eak stated that all of the players were in good health and that no one was sick. Everyone’s mental health was in excellent shape. Dr. Harris was quoted as saying, “There is no preference.”
In addition, Ekapol “Eak” Chanthawong, who was 25 years old at the time, stated that they were unaware that their ordeal had attracted attention from around the world, despite the fact that foreign divers and Royal Navy SEALs remained in contact with them. After all, he said to the media that they had been thinking: “When we get out of the cave, we will have to ride the bicycle home.” Therefore, those who reside the farthest away would be given permission to leave the building first… in order for them to be able to walk outside and tell everyone that we were safe and sound inside… We placed our faith in them to inform the families that we will be coming out and to help prepare the food.
This recovery method is therefore the one that everyone made an effort to adhere to, which means that the first four lads to be carried out of the flooded cave on July 8, 2018, did ostensibly reside the furthest away from the cave entrance. In light of the hysteria caused by the media, the Thai authorities were extremely cautious about not disclosing any identifying information at the time for the sake of the children as well as the protection of their families. However, the version that can be found on Netflix provides additional information that reveals their ages to be as follows: Prachak “Note” Sutham, 15, Nattawut “Tern/Tle” Takamrong, 14, Phiphat “Nick” Phothi, 15, and Panumart “Mix” Saengdee, 13.
On July 9, another four individuals followed in their footsteps. These individuals appeared to be, in no particular order, 13-year-old Duangphet “Dom” Phromthep, 14-year-old Ekkarat “Biw” Wongsukchan, 14-year-old Adul “Dul” Samon, and 17-year-old Phiraphat “Night” Somphiangchai. The following day, on July 10, assistant Coach Eak was the first person to be rescued, in spite of his loud protests. He was the ninth individual overall to be saved. “[Eak] desired to stay to the very end, but it was not up to him to decide… and in addition to that, he was medicated,” Irish cave diver and savior Jim Warny once recounted.
A 13-year-old boy named Somphong “Pong” Jaiwong, a 16-year-old boy named Phonchai “Tee” Khamluang, and an 11-year-old boy named Chanin “Titan” Viboonrungruang were presumably removed from the scene after the coach. This occurred in no particular order. It was partly owing to a technical issue that Mongkol “Mark” Boonpiem, age 13, was the very last Wild Boar to be retrieved. A positive pressure full face mask in his size could not be located, which made the situation unsafe. But, praise be to God, every single member of the crew as well as the professional diver made it out alive. Saman Kunan, a veteran Thai Navy SEAL, and Beirut Pakbara, who was serving at the time, were the only two people to lose their lives during this entire experience.
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Tham Luang cave rescue
A youth association football team and their assistant coach were rescued from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand in the months of June and July 2018. On June 23, during a session of football practice, thirteen players of the squad, ranging in age from 11 to 16 years old, and their assistant coach, who was 25 years old, entered the cave. A short time later, the cave system was partially flooded as a result of severe rainfall, thereby closing their way out and trapping them deeper within.
Rising water levels and powerful currents made it difficult to locate the group, and over two weeks passed before anyone was able to make touch with them again. In response to the enormous interest shown by people all around the world, the rescue operation within the cave evolved into a major operation that involved teams from all over the world. The group was recovered alive on an elevated rock approximately 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) from the cave mouth on July 2 by British divers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton after they had advanced through a series of tight channels and navigated through murky waters. The organizers of the rescue considered a number of different strategies for evacuating the group, such as instructing the individuals to learn the fundamentals of scuba diving in order to facilitate an early rescue, waiting until a new entrance to the cave was discovered or drilled, or waiting for the floodwaters to recede by the end of the monsoon season a number of months later. The rescue crews hurried to get the group out of the cave before the next monsoon rain, which was expected to bring heavier downpours and was predicted to start around 11 July. This came after days of pumping water out of the cave system and a break in the rain.
An international team was able to successfully extract all 12 boys and their coach from the cave between the 8th and 10th of July.
More than 10,000 people participated in the rescue operation, including more than 100 divers, scores of rescue workers, representatives from approximately 100 government agencies, 900 police officers, and 2,000 troops. It took ten police helicopters, seven ambulances, more than 700 diving cylinders, and the pumping of almost one billion liters of water out of the caves in order to rescue the people trapped inside.
Saman Kunan, a former Royal Thai Navy SEAL who was 37 years old, passed away from asphyxiation on July 6 during an attempt to rescue a group of people who were trapped inside a cave. He was returning to a staging area inside the cave after delivering diving cylinders to the group that was trapped. In December of the following year, in 2019, rescue diver and Thai Navy SEAL Beirut Pakbara passed away as a result of a blood illness that he had caught during the operation.
The history, as well as the disappearance
The karstic cave complex known as Tham Luang Nang Non is located beneath the Doi Nang Non mountain range, which is located on the boundary between Thailand and Myanmar.
The network spans a distance of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), and it is comprised of a large number of caves, small corridors, and tunnels that spiral around hundreds of meters of limestone strata. At the entrance to the caverns is a notice that warns visitors not to go inside during the wet months of July through November. This is due to the fact that a portion of the cave network becomes flooded during these months.
After beginning their exploration of the cave on Saturday, June 23, 2018, a group of twelve boys ranging in age from 11 to 16 who were all members of a local junior football team called the Wild Boars, along with their assistant coach, Ekkaphon Chanthawong, who was 25 years old, were reported missing. Early news reports stated that they planned to have a birthday party in the cave after the football practice, and that they spent a substantial number of money on food; however, they disputed this in a news conference after they were rescued from the cave. After they had entered the cave, they were met with rapid and constant precipitation, which left the team trapped in the tunnels. When they ran away from the rising water, they were forced to leave part of their food supplies behind.
When head coach Nopparat Kanthawong checked his phone at approximately 7 o’clock in the evening, he discovered over twenty missed calls from parents who were concerned that their children had not returned home. Nopparat tried calling a number of the lads in rapid succession, as well as the assistant coach Chanthawong, but he was unsuccessful. Songpon Kanthawong, a member of the team who is 13 years old and claimed that he was taken up after practice and that the rest of the guys had gone exploring in the Tham Luang caverns. Eventually, he made his way to Songpon Kanthawong. The driver of the coach sped up to the caves as quickly as he could, where he found abandoned bicycles and luggage near the entrance of the tunnels, as well as water pouring out of the muddy track. After discovering that some of the members of the group had not collected their belongings, he reported the situation to the authorities.
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