Praise For Thai Navy SEALS Who Rescued Trapped Football Team

If can often seem like the world is all doom and gloom - everywhere you look there's another terrible or tragic story in the news and it can all get a bit much.

But here's one that, while it started off bad, has a happy ending. All 12 boys who were trapped in the Tham Luang cave complex in Thailand along with their 25-year-old coach have been rescued.

And the team of Navy SEALs responsible for the daring rescue have been praised by influential world leaders such as Donald Trump, Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

"We don't know if this is a miracle, science, or what. All the 13 Wild Boars are now out of the cave," the resue team posted to Twitter, and the response was immediate.



Merkel's spokesperson Steffen Steibert also tweeted: "So much to admire: the perseverance of the brave boys and their coach, the ability and the determination of the rescuers."

Over the course of three round trips, expert divers helped the boys and their coach navigate their way through some terrifyingly narrow passageways guided them out of the cave. Some of the tunnels were so narrow that oxygen tanks had to be removed from their backs.

Sadly, one member of the rescue team - a former military diver identified as Saman Kunont - died while returning from a spot inside the cave, when his supplies ran short, causing him to lose consciousness.

The body of Saman Gunan is carried during a repatriation and religious rites ceremony in Thailand. Credit: PA
The body of Saman Gunan is carried during a repatriation and religious rites ceremony in Thailand. Credit: PA

The boys, who aged between 11 and 16, entered the cave after a training session on June 23, but a sudden downpouring of rain poured floodwater into the cave, trapping them and forcing them to venture further into the cave system.

They were reported missing, and for over a week people around the world - not to the mention the boys' families - feared the worst.

But on July 2, nine days after they went exploring in the cave, a team of British divers found the entire group on a ledge in one of the cave's caverns.

However, their location within the cave complex presented numerous problems and it was feared that extracting the boys could take months.

Food and supplies were delivered to them by divers while a Navy doctor was also sent in to look over the group and care for them, as they were suffering from fatigue and hunger.

Even Elon Musk, the head of Tesla and SpaceX, got in on the action, offering to build a bespoke submarine that could be used to transport the boys and also get through the narrow crevices of the cave system.

However, it was decided on Sunday by Thai authorities that - due to fears the flooding would worsen due to heavy rain - action needed to be taken and the operation to rescue the boys and their coach began.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Mischa Pearlman

Mischa is a freelance journalist usually based in either New York or London. He has written for Kerrang!, Record Collector, NME, the New York Observer and FLOOD magazine, among others. Contact him at [email protected]

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