Prime Minister Lee hails Thai cave rescuers and volunteers

An ambulance transporting alleged members of the children’s football team approaches the hospital in the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai on July 10, 2018 after being rescued in Tham Luang cave. AFP PHOTO / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA

Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong has joined people the world over after getting good news from Thailand last night.

“Delighted & relieved that the 12 Thai boys & their football coach have been successfully rescued from the Tham Luang cave!” said Lee on his official Facebook page.

The team, believed to have wandered into the caves after soccer practice, were trapped inside for 18 days when floodwaters from the heavy rain cut off their exit route. For nearly a week after they went missing, the world did not know if they were dead or alive — until last Monday when a pair of British divers finally found them.

The Thai government, along with an international team of experts and volunteers launched an elaborate operation to get the kids out.

This complex operation was a remarkable display of the strength of the human spirit,” Lee wrote in the post. “ It is an inspiring tale of what different nations and groups can achieve by working together.”

The team took nearly three days to extract all of the boys, due to the dangerous conditions of the cave system and rain showers.

“It was heartening to see so many prayers and suggestions for the Wild Boars’ safe rescue,” said PM Lee, who has four children of his own. “his saga has touched many around the world.”

Lee wished the boys a smooth recovery from their journey and said he hopes they will be able to enjoy this weekend’s World Cup Final.

Before signing off with his initials, Lee also took a moment to pay respects to the Thai officer who perished while trying to help the boys.

Not forgetting the Thai and international rescuers and volunteers who contributed to this immense operation, including Petty Officer First Class Saman Gunan, who tragically gave his life delivering oxygen tanks into the cave.”

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