Sunday 23 September 2018
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2 months ago

All 12 boys and coach rescued from Thai cave

11 July 2018: The final five members of a young football team were rescued from a flooded Thai cave on Tuesday after spending 18 harrowing days trapped deep inside, completing an astonishing against-the-odds rescue mission that captivated the world.

Elite foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALs extracted the final batch of four boys, plus the 25-year-old coach, on Tuesday afternoon via a treacherous escape route that required them to squeeze through narrow, water-filled tunnels in darkness.

All 12 Wild Boars and coach have been extracted from the cave, the SEALs said in a Facebook post, referring to the boys by the name of their football team.

All are safe, they added, then signed off with what has become their trademark Hooyah that they used to celebrate the successful extractions of the other eight boys over the previous two days.

The last four Thai navy divers, including a doctor, who had been with the boys emerged safe from the cave late Tuesday, rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said.

The children, aged from 11 to 16, and their coach, ventured into the Tham Luang cave in mountainous northern Thailand on June 23 after football practice and got trapped when heavy rains caused flooding that forced them to take shelter on a muddy ledge.

They spent nine days in darkness until two British divers found them, looking gaunt but offering smiles to the divers and appearing to be in remarkably good spirits.

The initial euphoria at finding them dissipated as authorities struggled to devise a safe plan to get them out, with the shelf more than four kilometres (2.5 miles) inside the cave and the labyrinth of tunnels leading to them filled with water.

- Impossible to Possible -

Authorities mulled ideas such as drilling holes into the mountain or waiting months until monsoon rains ended and they could walk out, with the rescue chief at one point dubbing the efforts to save them Mission Impossible .

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