For eighteen days in June and July, the world was captivated by twelve soccer players and their monk turned coach trapped in the Tham Luang cave in the Chiang Rai Provence of Thailand.
The young team and their coach go missing on June 23, 2018. The world awareness of the search rises on Wednesday, June 28 when international resources arrive to assist with the dangerous search.
On July 2, two British divers reach the shelf above the floodwaters. Their initial exchange with the boys is priceless.
“How many of you?” the rescuer asks.
“Thirteen!” comes the reply.
The group appears to ask when they will be taken to safety, and one of the unseen rescuers replies:
“Not today. There’s two of us. We have to dive. We are coming. OK? Many people are coming. We are the first.”
One of the boys appears to say:
“Eat, eat, eat, tell them we are hungry.”
When the group, whose voices are faint, ask what day it is, the divers’ pause, then one replies,
“Monday, Monday. You have been here… 10 days. You are very strong.”
The divers explain that they have to leave but will be back.
“Thank you so much,” says one of the huddled group. “Where you come from?”
“England. The UK.”
“Oh. See you tomorrow.”
Brilliant. The voices of children – What time is it? We’re hungry. Where are you from? See you tomorrow.
Found, but Not Safe Yet
There was great joy when the children were found, but the apprehension grew as we heard about the significant challenges involved in their rescue before seasonal rains and flooding. They’ve been found, but can they be rescued.
That fear grows on July 6 when a former Thai Seal dies when shuttling supplies. This is real. This is dangerous.
On July 8, the rescue mission begins as the boys are removed one by one and carried by ambulance to a hospital. By July 10, they have all be safely removed.
This feat of science and engineering held us captive. With a good plan, expert divers and perhaps a little divine intervention, the Wild Boars were safe.
Attention Held..but Why?
Why did this event in an isolated part of the world capture the world’s attention? Innocent, adventurous children in peril? The insurmountable odds? The heroes? The Hollywood of it all?
I’m not sure, but I’ll never forget the summer of the Thai cave boys and the real heroes who came to their rescue. It was brilliant.
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