It's been a scary 10 days for friends and family members of the Moo Pa Academy soccer team, made up of boys ranging from 11 to 16 years old. On June 23rd, the team held their usual morning practice then opted to take a six-mile bike ride to the near by Tham Luang cave. They parked their bikes inside the mouth of the cave and that was the last anyone had heard of them until yesterday.
Amazingly, after 9 days of being trapped in the cave (after heavy rains and mudslides had flooded the cavern they're in), the boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach were found weakened but okay.
According to The Guardian, it was British divers who found the team first, and they recorded video footage of the boys and their coach huddled together on a ledge surrounded by water. The drivers said that the boys were hungry and asked what day it was and if they could leave the cave.
While the team did get access to food - the task of getting them out of the cave won't be as easily handled.
While the world has collectively taken a sigh of relief at the news that the soccer team has been found alive and reasonably well, there is still more work to be done before everyone is able to get out safely.
At the moment experts from Australia, China, The U.S., Britain, Myanmar and Laos, are working together to get the team out of the cave as safely and quickly as possible.
However according to some officials, it could take months, and according to the Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, he believes at the very least it could take days.
The reason being is that rising waters have further flooded the cave and with it being the rainy season in Thailand - it's expected to only get worse. Furthermore, many of the boys can't swim and are weak from lack of food and movement, which means that having them dive out of the cave in scuba equipment is not a viable option.
#Thailand Cave Rescue— JB (@3ty3) July 1, 2018
Divers establish base in Chamber 3, around 3 kilometers from “Pattaya Beach” area, where group is hoped to be sheltering. https://t.co/TeN0lq2xiY #NorthernThailand #ChiangRai #คนแปลกหน้าที่อยากเจอที่สุด #ทีมหมู่ป่า #13ชีวิตต้องรอด #ถ้ำหลวง #13ชีวิตติดถ้ำ pic.twitter.com/gxpj8NIEqR
Ben Reymenants, a cave diver who’s part of the rescue team told NBC News “They can’t swim, so they definitely can’t dive…The easiest [option] would be that they [people trying to rescue those in the cave] keep pumping the water out of the cave. They need another three or four feet so they can literally float them out with life jackets, but time is not on their side. They’re expecting heavy thunderstorms and rain which might flood the entire cave system, making the rescue impossible at that stage.”
And while many are concerned about getting the boys out safely, there are others laying blame at the 25-year-old coach. Sky News reported that Thai Police have said that the coach could be facing criminal charges in relation to the incident.
Police in Thailand say they will look into whether the 25-year-old coach of a youth football team could face legal action for leading them into a cave complex where they were stranded for 10 days— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) July 3, 2018
However many are not happy to hear that at all and believe that are focused on the safety and well being of the boys and the coach stuck in the cave and their speedy return to their families.
For Christ's sake get them out safely before playing the blame game.— Alan Clark (@ConcernedofTW) July 3, 2018
Come on. He stayed with them and has gone through the same ordeal the children have, helping keep them alive. I think he's paid enough for his mistake.— Xander King (@madeking) July 3, 2018
He acted with gut instinct against nature’s forces and yes has kept them alive for 10 days— Ellen O’Brien Dean (@EllenDean) July 3, 2018
Can't they just concentrate on getting them out first before worrying about and discussing possible prosecutions?— fL0ger (@fL0ger) July 3, 2018
This story is ongoing.