Thai Soccer Team Found Alive After Being Trapped Inside Flooded Cave for 10 Days Without Food

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Soccer team found alive inside cave Image from Thai Navy Seal

Twelve boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach were found alive deep inside a cave in Thailand after they went missing for ten days.

As per a CNN story, the cave where the boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their coach were found is popular with tourists. It has a cavernous entrance but the tunnels narrow to the point that one has to crawl to go through them. Those tunnels open into wider chambers. It was in one of those chambers that the missing soccer team was found.

On June 23, the whole team set out to explore the cave system after their soccer practice but they became trapped after flash floods blocked their exit.

A massive search and rescue operation with foreign assistance from such countries as Britain, China, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Australia and the United States was launched after a park officer sounded the alarm when he found the boys’ bicycles near the entrance of the off-limits cave complex.

Rescuers (Image from Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center)

Two British divers found the whole soccer team huddled on a muddy mound around two kilometers into the cave and about 800 meters to a kilometer below the surface.

Asked how they managed to survive for 10 days without food inside the cave, the boys said their coach told them to just lie down to conserve energy and to drink water trickling down the cave wall.

Thai soccer team and coach (Image from Akkarol Chanthawong’s Facebook account)

Although the boys were found safe, the danger is not yet over, according to Narongsak Osottanakorn; the governor of Chang Rai province.

“They are all safe. But our mission is not completed… so far we’ve just found them, now we have to bring them out and get them home,” the governor said.

 “We will drain all water out from the cave then we will take all 13 people out of the cave. We are now planning how to send nurse and doctor inside the cave to check their health and movement. We will work all night,” the governor added.

Rescuers had discussed waiting until water levels subsided to get the boys out. Other options included teaching the group to use diving gear to navigate the flooded cave, but apparently no one knew how to swim.