Reason we cared so much for trapped Thai boys

Jose Verdugo
Julio 11, 2018

A team of Dutch water specialists from Friesland travelled to Thailand to support the drainage efforts, while Elon Musk left a mini-submarine "made of rocket parts & named Wild Boar after [the] kids" soccer team'.

An ambulance leaves the Tham Luang cave area as operations continue for those still trapped inside the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 10, 2018.

The acting governor of Chiang Rai state, Narongsak Osottanakorn, led the rescue operation.

But Fifa said it had been informed "that due to medical reasons, the boys will not be in a position to travel to Moscow".

In a gesture of kindness, English soccer giants Manchester United have invited the Thai soccer team to Old Trafford to watch them play in its upcoming season.

Simmee Oupra has volunteered as a translator for the past 10 days at the press centre near the cave where 12 young boys and their soccer coach have been trapped for nearly three weeks.

Twelve boys and their football coach had no serious health concerns Wednesday morning after the last group of five was successfully rescued from a flooded northern cave and transferred to hospital last night.

"When I saw the diver and the kid on the horizon, I still didn't know if it was a casualty or if it was a kid so I was very scared", said Ivan Karadzic, one of the rescuers inside the cave.

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Highlighting the dangers, a former Thai Navy SEAL died Friday while replenishing the canisters. But Thai officials, acutely aware the monsoon rains could trap the boys for months, seized a window of opportunity provided by relatively mild weather.

Officials said the boys, many of whom had never learned to swim, were given anti-anxiety medication to keep them calm.

For the first half of the journey back, the boys were forced to wade or dive through flooded passes for as much as 10 to 15 minutes underwater at a time.

Two of the eight rescued so far have shown signs of a potential lung infection, but there is a hope they could honour the invite. They were trapped in a cave in northern Thailand for more than a fortnight. The food had been cooked in the camp right outside the mouth of the cave, but the boys could only nibble on the rice because they'd grown so weak, the Thai military sources said.

All 13 would be kept in quarantine at the hospital for seven days and their health would be monitored for seven more days after being discharged.

President Donald Trump congratulated the Thai SEALs on Twitter. The first eight boys were able to communicate, but they remain on bed rest with the others.

"I have one [of] the world's best engineering teams, who normally design spaceships and spacesuits, working on this thing 24 hours a day", Musk wrote in an email to Dick Stanton, one of the leaders of the search and rescue effort in Thailand, on July 8.

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