WEATHER AUTHORITY : Flood Advisory View Alerts

Thai boys trapped in cave meet divers at event recounting ordeal

The 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach and the rescuers who helped ...

Posted: Sep 6, 2018 2:09 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2018 2:09 PM

The 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach and the rescuers who helped extract them from a cave this summer were honored by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha in a lavish ceremony Thursday.

The boys, members of a youth soccer team called the Wild Boars, and their coach spent nearly three weeks underground before an international team of divers and cave experts rescued them from the cave in July.

2018 Thailand cave rescue

Accidents, disasters and safety

Asia

Caves

Continents and regions

Environment and natural resources

Football (Soccer)

Landforms and ecosystems

Rescue operations

Southeast Asia

Sports and recreation

Thailand

Coaches and trainers

They were also reintroduced to many divers for the first time since they were all inside the cave.

The event, called "Tham Luang Incredible Mission: the Global Agenda," featured a fake small cave tunnel that the boys briefly walked through, surrounded by cameras.

Members of the Wild Boars again spoke to the media about their ordeal, the second time they've done so since being freed.

"We had to stay focused. We also discussed about how we could get out," said Ekapol Chantawong, the team's coach.

Most of the group said their lives have returned to normal. Adul Sam-on, the boy who responded in English when divers first found the group, said he was "happy to go back to school and see his friends."

"It's pretty awesome," Christopher Pearson, one of the volunteers with the rescue effort, told CNN at the event.

"I was with one of the divers, and I tapped him on the shoulder and said, 'They're there because of you.' "

The soccer team entered the cave after going for a bike ride, only to be trapped by rising floodwaters on June 23. The boys and their coach were found alive more than a week later, deep in the cave network and hundreds of meters below the surface.

But hope quickly gave way to the realization that any rescue mission would be fraught with risk. Divers involved in the rescue described the conditions as some of the most extreme they have ever faced. Dark, muddy water made it nearly impossible to see through the narrow cave channel.

The boys didn't even know how to swim.

The mood on the ground took an even darker turn after a former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Kunan, died while returning from an operation to deliver oxygen tanks to the cave.

But with monsoon rains on the way, rescuers decided to act.

The boys were brought out in groups of four, one by one, each accompanied by two divers. The coach, the last of the group, was brought out July 10.

After leaving the cave, all were quarantined in the hospital for a few days as a precautionary measure. Three were treated for minor cases of pneumonia, and the 13 were discharged after about a week.

Many of the boys were ordained as novice monks and had their heads shaved to honor the late SEAL. Adul, who is Christian, chose instead to participate in a church service.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 29684

Reported Deaths: 1103
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds238239
DeSoto148616
Madison126734
Jones110449
Neshoba98171
Lauderdale90079
Rankin88812
Forrest85142
Harrison84210
Scott76215
Copiah59216
Jackson58416
Leake57019
Holmes54441
Wayne53513
Lee53218
Oktibbeha53226
Washington5319
Warren49618
Yazoo4936
Leflore48049
Lowndes47212
Lincoln44334
Lamar4407
Grenada4325
Pike40712
Monroe38830
Lafayette3774
Attala35823
Sunflower3467
Newton3389
Covington3345
Panola3256
Bolivar32114
Adams29318
Simpson2833
Pontotoc2736
Marion27011
Tate2709
Chickasaw26918
Claiborne25610
Jasper2566
Winston2546
Noxubee2538
Pearl River24832
Clay24710
Marshall2173
Smith21611
Clarke20524
Coahoma1916
Union1919
Walthall1804
Kemper17714
Lawrence1701
Yalobusha1677
Carroll16411
Itawamba1348
Humphreys1329
Calhoun1284
Tippah12811
Hancock12613
Webster12610
Montgomery1242
Tallahatchie1224
Jefferson Davis1094
Prentiss1023
Greene1018
Jefferson993
Tunica933
Wilkinson929
Amite892
George783
Tishomingo741
Quitman730
Choctaw724
Perry654
Alcorn631
Stone571
Franklin412
Sharkey340
Benton300
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4802152
Montgomery3947103
Mobile3904134
Tuscaloosa218842
Marshall168010
Lee130237
Madison12717
Shelby117623
Morgan10475
Walker90524
Franklin87814
Dallas8689
Elmore86414
Baldwin8289
Etowah70713
DeKalb6945
Butler62328
Chambers61227
Tallapoosa58369
Autauga56012
Russell5190
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4736
Limestone4660
Lowndes46321
Houston4614
Cullman4354
Pike4175
Colbert3836
Coffee3702
Bullock3679
St. Clair3472
Barbour3452
Covington3437
Escambia3326
Calhoun3225
Hale30621
Marengo30011
Talladega3007
Wilcox2898
Sumter28412
Clarke2726
Dale2680
Jackson2632
Winston2463
Monroe2312
Chilton2282
Blount2261
Pickens2226
Marion21413
Randolph2019
Conecuh1977
Choctaw19512
Bibb1861
Greene1838
Macon1819
Perry1621
Henry1313
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1050
Washington1047
Cherokee857
Geneva780
Lamar751
Fayette671
Clay622
Coosa581
Cleburne361
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Scattered Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 98°
Columbus
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 90°
Oxford
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 78°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather