THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Thai boys sedated, stretchered from cave in dramatic rescue

CHIANG RAI: The 12 boys rescued from a Thai cave were sedated and passed on stretchers along the twisting, narrow passageways of the Tham Luang complex, a rescuer said yesterday (July 11) as the first footage emerged of an astonishing mission that has captivated the world.

healthSafety
By AFP

Thursday 12 July 2018, 08:42AM


This handout video grab taken from footage released by the Royal Thai Navy yesterday (July 11) shows a member of the ‘Wild Boars’ Thai youth football team being moved on a stretcher during a rescue operation inside the Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Mae Sai district. Photo: Handout / Royal Thai Navy

This handout video grab taken from footage released by the Royal Thai Navy yesterday (July 11) shows a member of the ‘Wild Boars’ Thai youth football team being moved on a stretcher during a rescue operation inside the Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Mae Sai district. Photo: Handout / Royal Thai Navy

The video of the rescue, which ended on Tuesday (June 10) when the final four boys and their 25-year-old coach emerged from the cave, was released by authorities who had until late yesterday closely guarded the details of the seemingly unprecedented operation.

Other video footage shows several of the boys in hospital, in quarantine and wearing face masks but seemingly in good health as they nod, wave and flash peace signs to the camera.

The nerve-shredding three-day operation ended on Tuesday when the final members of the “Wild Boars” were freed from the cave which had held them captive since June 23.

The rescue sparked jubilation with Thais heaping praise on the rescue team of foreign and local divers as the triumphant tagline “Hooyah” pinballed across social media.

But Thai authorities have been coy on how a group of boys, many of whom could not swim and none with diving experience, could have navigated the treacherous narrow and submerged passageways of the Tham Luang complex, even with expert diving support.

After days of mounting speculation, a former Thai Navy SEAL diver broke the silence, revealing the boys were sleeping or partially-conscious as they were passed from diver-to-diver through the cave.

“Some of them were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers... (as if) groggy, but they were breathing,” Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong said.

“My job was to transfer them along,” he said, adding the “boys were wrapped up in stretchers already when they were being transferred” and were monitored at regular intervals by doctors posted along the kilometres-long escape route.

He did not say if the coach, the only adult with the boys for nine days before they found, was able to dive and walk out unaided.

Footage released by the Thai Navy SEALs showed foreign and Thai divers using pulleys, ropes and rubber piping to haul stretchers bearing two of the barely moving young footballers to safety, their exit framed by the jagged cave overhead.

Junta leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha on Tuesday said the boys had been given a “minor tranquilliser” to prevent anxiety during the complex extraction bid.

But he had denied they were knocked out for an operation the chief of the rescue had dubbed “mission impossible”.

The rescue was fraught with danger, a point underscored last Friday (June 6) by the death of a retired Thai Navy SEAL diver as he ran out of air in the flooded cave complex.

Then, with the final divers slowly exiting the cave on Tuesday, the pumps suddenly failed pushing the water level up towards head height in a previously wadeable section of the cave.

“If you didn’t use the water pump in that location, you could only come out with an oxygen tank,” ex-SEAL Com Chaiyananta said.

That left 20 or so divers scrambling to flee the rising waters, he said, explaining they narrowly made it out time.

Thailand spent yesterday celebrating the successful mission.

Despite spending days in the dark, dank, cave health officials said the boys – who are aged 11 to 16 – are in good physical and mental health and eating normal food.

“It might be because they were all together as a team,” public health ministry inspector general Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong told reporters.

The saga of the “Wild Boars” gripped the world, with the lives of the group hanging in the balance as the threat of heavy rain injected urgency to an already perilous extraction bid.

Closer to home, Chiang Rai locals rejoiced at the odds-upsetting rescue bid.

Duangduen Sittiwongsa, a classmate of 16-year-old Pheeraphat “Night” Sompiengjai, whose birthday fell on the same day the team entered the cave, said they would give him cake when he came back to school.

“We will sing a song for him,” she said.

Rescuers had weighed up several options to save the boys, including keeping them in the cave through the months-long monsoon season.

But they were prodded into the dangerous task of bringing the team through submerged chambers and claustrophobic passages as oxygen levels in the cave plummeted and rains menaced.

The group were taken out in three batches by a team of 13 international divers flanked by the Thai Navy SEALs, who greeted each successful rescue with a “Hooyah” on their Facebook page.

That sign off quickly turned into a hashtag shared across social media, where luminaries of business, politics and sport extended their best wishes to the team and the rescuers.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Thailand bans Boeing 737 MAX flights for 7 days

"You are going to have to read the article more closely. "Thai airlines do not operate MAX...(Read More)


Phuket gun-toting driver apprehended

All the bb guns sold on the island dont have revovling chambers or have bullets with them. At a simi...(Read More)


Patong Police to create LINE group with rental shops to monitor tourist bike riders

Lovely, draw attention on foreign tourists. Thai underaged kids, families of 4 without helmet/drivin...(Read More)


Trash Talk: Tackling waste in Phuket

And why is in 2019 the Phuket Saphan Hin incinerators still not able to handle 1000 ton of daily was...(Read More)


Trash Talk: Tackling waste in Phuket

All written in this article is common knowledge by Phuket governors and officials of relevant minis...(Read More)


Trash Talk: Tackling waste in Phuket

As long we are calling beach cleaners beach heroes and heroines , with thanks and respect for their ...(Read More)


Patong Police to create LINE group with rental shops to monitor tourist bike riders

No motorcycle license from your own country will void your travel insurance and you are not insurabl...(Read More)


Patong Police to create LINE group with rental shops to monitor tourist bike riders

Hi many rental shops will check that the customer has a driving license but this is not enough. Many...(Read More)


Patong Police to create LINE group with rental shops to monitor tourist bike riders

I don't think it should be restricted just to foreigners but should include locals. There are ma...(Read More)


Patong Police to create LINE group with rental shops to monitor tourist bike riders

Does anyone have the link to join the LINE group please? I am a local resident and I would like to c...(Read More)