Footage has emerged of the amazing rescue effort to save 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from deep in the Tham Luang cave network in northern Thailand.
Posted to the Thai navy SEALS Facebook page, the five-minute video – called “the operation the world never forgets” – shows the Wild Boars being stretchered out of the flooded caves.
“18 days that all the people of the world are together … with the power to bring … 12 people and coach home,” the accompanying post reads.
ปฏิบัติการที่โลกต้องจดจำThe operation the world never forgets.18 วัน ที่ผู้คนทั้งโลกรวมใจมาอยู่ด้วยกัน รวมพลังช่วยกันพานักฟุตบอลทีมหมูป่าอะคาเดมี 12 คนและโค้ช กลับบ้านและเราจะจดจำความเสียสละ ความงดงามในจิตใจของเรือโทสมาน กุนัน ตลอดไป“ภารกิจไม่สำเร็จ ไม่พบเราไม่เลิก”Hooyah Hooyah Hooyah
Posted by Thai NavySEAL on Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Divers, medics and military personnel from a host of nations can be seen preparing for the mammoth rescue, tending to their patients and passing them from hand to hand towards the cave entry. In all, more than 100 people were involved in saving the 13 Wild Boars – many of them seen bent double as they negotiate the cramped and rocky tunnels.
The video also shows a massive tangle of pipework, cables and ropes, as well as the ever-persistent water that complicated the rescue. In places, steps have been carved into the rock to make passage easier – and the water cascades down over them.
Derek Anderson, a 32-year-old American rescue specialist with the US air force based in Japan, has described the perilous zero-visibility dives that brought the boys out safely as a “once-in-a-lifetime rescue”.
In places, the boys were put into harnesses and high-lined across rocky caverns. They also endured dives of up to half an hour in pitch-black waters.
“The world just needs to know that what was accomplished was a once-in-a-lifetime rescue,” Mr Anderson told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
“We were extremely fortunate that the outcome was the way it was. It’s important to realise how complex and how many pieces of this puzzle had to come together.”
The boys and their coach were sedated during the dangerous journey out of the caves. One American diver told the media the “kids were proper knocked out”.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha denied that, saying they were given anti-anxiety medication but remained conscious. He also denied reports ketamine (a horse tranquiliser often used as a recreational drug) was used.
Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong told AFP that some of the boys “were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers … [as if] groggy, but they were breathing”.
Yesterday all 13 Wild Boars were recovering in Chiang Rai hospital. They are said to be in good health, considering their 18-day ordeal.
The first of them is likely to leave hospital on Sunday, according to Thailand’s The Nation. They will recuperate at home for at least another week.