11 July 2018Hot off the Press
The Thai soccer team Wild Boars, comprising of 12 boys and their coach, have finally all been rescued from the Tham Luang cave in which they were trapped for over two weeks.
The rescue officially concluded at 10:00pm (local time) on Tuesday.
The boys were immediately taken to hospital where doctors assessed their health, with both their physical and mental conditions given the all clear.
The three SEALS and Thai doctor who went into the cave to rescue the group are also in good health.
The group had spent 10 days in the dark cave without food or any clue that help was on its way. It took another seven days before some of the group and the coach were rescued.
The rescue operation was especially dangerous due to Thailand’s incessant wet season, with heavy and constant rainfall increasing water levels inside the cave, making diving, even for professionals, very risky.
A tragic example of the dangerous conditions inside the cave is seen in the death of Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan, who died on Friday inside the cave complex while trying to reach the boys after laying oxygen tanks along a flooded passage.
The crisis transfixed viewers from across the globe, with several of Australia’s own aiding in the rescue, including doctor and diver Richard Harris, who Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said was an “integral part” of the cave rescue mission.
Elon Musk, CEO and owner of SpaceX, was another of those around the world to offer help by building a kid sized submarine that allowed the boys to fit inside a tube without the requirement of swimming or learning how to use diving equipment.
The contraption was not used however, which has sparked the billionaire entrepreneur to question the Thai rescue chief, Narongsak Osatanakorn, who denied Mr Musk’s offer, by saying the chief was not “the subject matter expert”.
The former Thai provincial governor (described inaccurately as “rescue chief”) is not the subject matter expert. That would be Dick Stanton, who co-led the dive rescue team. This is our direct correspondence: pic.twitter.com/dmC9l3jiZR
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 10, 2018
A father of one of the boys spoke to American news broadcaster CNN, saying that he cannot wait to hug his 14-year-old son Akarat Wongsukchanson after he spent 16 days worrying about him.
“I want to hug him… and I want to tell him that I’m happy,” Mr Wongsukchan said.