A group of 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach were found alive today after being stuck in a flooded cave in Thailand for over a week, reported the New York Post.
“We found them safe. But the operation isn’t over,” said Chiang Rai province governor Narongsak Osatanakorn.
The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach entered the sprawling Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai after a soccer game on June 23. Rescue divers had been working desperately for nine days to save them.
A park officer first sounded the alarm about the group after spotting their bicycles near the off-limits cave’s entrance.
Experts in cave rescues from Israel, the US military, the UK, China and Australia traveled to aid in the mission.
Progress was slow as Thai navy divers leading the search failed to make much headway in their effort to push through the murk of a half-mile-long chamber to what they hoped was a clear area leading to where the missing boys were sheltering, reported Times of Israel.
The paper quoted one of the Israelis who assisted at the cave as saying, “The water is rising and reaching insane heights. They don’t know when a wave will come or from what direction. They tried to cross to the place where the kids are, and failed. Twenty divers tried and not all returned.”