The search is over, and the result is the one Thailand was praying for.
At 10:30pm, Thai Navy SEALs and divers finally made contact with the missing youth soccer team that has been trapped in Chiang Rai’s Luang Cave since June 23, after nine days of round-the-clock rescue efforts. All 12 boys and their coach are alive, according to Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn.
“We’ve successfully found them and now we’re going to rescue them,” Narongsak told reporters assembled outside the cave where parents, media, and the nation have kept vigil. “Tonight, all of us will not sleep. We’re happy that we’ve found all of the children.”
Local news outlets have said the boys were discovered about 400 meters beyond Pattaya Beach, the name of the cave’s fourth major chamber.
“It’s going to take 4-5 hours until we can confirm further details. We would not have accomplished this task without the support of you folks. Thank you,” he said as reporters burst into cheers.
The “Wild Boar” soccer team and their 25-year-old coach reportedly visited the cave in the afternoon of June 23 after a practice. However, heavy trains cut them off from the entrance.
At 10 kilometers long, the Luang Cave of the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park has long been a fairly popular tourist attraction, despite it also being one of the longest and toughest caves to navigate in the country.
This story is developing.